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Universal credit and benefits guidance

Universal credit is a single monthly benefit to help you with your living and housing costs.

You’ll go on to universal credit if you’re claiming benefits for the first time, or if you’re already on benefits and have a change in circumstances. We also expect at some point that anyone who hasn’t gone over to universal credit will have to do so.

Universal credit replaces a range of previous benefits: housing benefit; employment and support allowance; jobseeker's allowance; income support; working tax credit and child tax credit. It only applies to people of working age.

You have to claim universal credit online, so you’ll need access to the internet and an email account. You also need a bank account, as this is how your universal credit is paid to you.

Find out about claiming universal credit on the Citizens Advice website

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How universal credit works

Managing on Universal credit

If you need help managing once you’re on universal credit we can offer help and guidance. We can help you prepare for work, find work, and get online to make the most of the internet, as well as helping you with budgeting and managing your money.

Manage your home online

You can set up a direct debit to pay your rent via your Clarion online account. Your online account also enables you to check your statements, update your account and request repairs 24/7, 365 days a year.

How we can help

See the help and guidance offer on jobs, training and your personal finances.

Find out more about financial guidance

I love nothing better than being able to tell someone they’re eligible for more.


financial guidance officer

Meet Geraldine – guidance officer

Geraldine provides proactive support for residents on universal credit. She’s worked at Clarion for three years.

Each week, she receives a list of Clarion residents on universal credit to call. Some are new residents, so she’ll check they’ve got everything they need to set up their new home – advising everything from council tax to grants for furnishings.

Or they’re residents who’ve moved on to universal credit due to a change of circumstances – and may need job and training advice, or support getting online.

Whoever she calls, she listens. “There is so much fear of universal credit, so letting people know there is help is so important, especially around council tax – as so many people don’t realise it’s a separate claim.”

“I love nothing better than being able to tell someone they’re eligible for more.”

Tools for managing your money

Benefits calculator

Find out which benefits you can claim with our simple, online benefits calculator.

You’ll also be able to find out how much better off you’ll be in work.

It’s free to use, takes just a few minutes and is completely anonymous.

Benefits calculator


Budget planner

See how a budget plan can help you stay in control of your money.

The independent Money Advice Service has a really useful online budget planner. It can help you see what you can afford and how you might be able to save money.

It’s simple to complete and anyone can use it.

Go to Money Advice Service

If you want any help using the budget planner or our benefits calculator – or any other financial guidance – please contact our Clarion Futures Money Guidance team.

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