Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Universal Credit is available to people who are in or out of work who have little or no income.  As it is a means tested benefit most income and savings of more than £6000 affect the amount paid. However savings of £16,000 or more mean there would be no entitlement to Universal Credit at all. 

If you claim as you are unable to work due to ill health or lack of suitable employment you will need to undergo a work capability assessment. See our section on this for more information.

Universal Credit has replaced the majority of means-tested benefits and tax credits (known as legacy benefits) paid to people who are ‘working age’ i.e. those under state pension age. There are still some people on legacy benefits:

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

If you are already claiming legacy benefits at some point you will be migrated onto Universal Credit. If you have had a change of circumstance before then, you may need to switch to Universal Credit.  Otherwise, you don’t need to do anything unless the DWP send you a ‘Universal Credit Migration Notice.’ For some it may be beneficial to switch to Universal Credit prior to receiving a migration notice as the amount paid maybe more, but others may be worse off.  

It is important that you obtain advice from an independent welfare benefits advice service before making any decisions to stop claiming legacy benefits and start a claim for Universal Credit. 

Useful links:


Alternatively, if you have a spinal cord injury our Welfare Benefits Advice team can advise as well as support with WCA form completion. Telephone 0208 420 6711 or email [email protected]

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