Skip to main contentAccessibility Statement

Apply for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is financial help towards paying your rent. Most new benefit claimants of working age will have to claim their Housing Benefit via Universal Credit and claim Council Tax Support via the Council.

Over the coming years existing working age claimants will be switched to Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment to help with your living costs and provides support if you are working and on a low income, looking for work or unable to work.  

The following benefits and tax credits are ending and being replaced by Universal Credit, under a single monthly payment:  

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)  

From April 2024, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is writing to some people who receive these benefits to let them know that they need to claim Universal Credit instead. This letter - called a Migration Notice – explains what you need to do and when. It also provides information on the help available to continue receiving support from the government. 

Find out when you’re likely to be asked to move to Universal Credit.  

It is important that you do not do anything until you receive your letter. You will not be moved automatically. Once you’ve received your Universal Credit Migration Notice letter, you’ll need to make a claim for Universal Credit to continue to get financial support. There will be a deadline in your letter. This is 3 months from the date the letter was sent out. 

Your current benefits will end as soon as you submit your claim for Universal Credit and you will not be able to go back to your existing benefit once you have claimed.  

If you want some help with your Universal Credit application or you’re concerned about managing your income until you receive your first Universal Credit payment, there are different types of support available

There are some exceptions to claiming Universal Credit to help with your rent.

If you are a working age person you can claim Housing Benefit from the council only if you are living in Specified or Temporary Accommodation (you would still claim Universal Credit but you get Housing Benefit from the council instead of Universal Credit housing cost).

If you're mixed-age couple (one working age and one pensioner), you will need to claim Universal Credit.

If you're a single pensioner, or two pensioners in a couple, you are not impacted by Universal Credit at this stage and can claim Housing Benefit via the council.

Apply for Universal Credit. Find out about other benefits the Government provides.

Apply for Housing benefit


Download, fill in and return the document below:

Northampton and South Northants

Apply online:

Last updated 23 April 2024