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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is now being rolled out across the UK.

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When does it start?

Full Service Universal Credit was introduced in West Lothian on 16 May 2018. Now that Full Service has been introduced in West Lothian new claims are now open to most claim types including people with a partner or children or people not able to work due to ill health. 

How do I claim Universal Credit?

Full Service is now more digital and claims are made and managed online. Claims for Universal Credit can be made online on the Universal Credit webpages (opens new window).  If you need support to make a claim contact Citizens Advice Bureau West Lothian on 01506 444814 - option 1 or email   

How will I receive Universal Credit?

Universal Credit (opens new window) will be paid monthly into your bank account.This means you'll have to start managing your money across the whole month. Scottish claimants can choose to have Universal Credit paid in twice monthly instalments instead of one monthly lump sum. 

Do I have the right bank account?

Your bank, building society, or credit union account must be able to receive automated payments. You will find it useful to set up Direct Debits and standing orders for bills like your rent and utilities.

What if I pay rent?

If you pay rent, this will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment. It will be your responsibility to pay the full amount to your landlord directly. Claimants in Scotland have the option to have housing costs paid directly to landlord. 

What else can I do to prepare for Universal Credit? 

Draw up a budget to help plan your finances and a list of all your income and outgoings. Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears so you need to plan for this. We recommend setting up Direct Debits for regular bills, like your rent.

If you need help and support to get online and manage your claim or you need to improve your IT skills -  Universal Credit Digital Support [35KB]

Where can I get more support and advice?

Your local Jobcentre and The Advice Shop in Bathgate can provide more support and advice.

For more information visit the DWP website (opens new window).

Universal Credit works differently to the current system of benefits. Understanding how Universal Credit works will help you to manage your new benefit.