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Benefits & Council Tax Support

Universal Credit

Make a claim online

Claims for UC need to be made online, claims for Mid Sussex residents are covered by 5 Job Centre Plus offices, the office where any appointments you have following your initial claim is dependent on your postcode.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit (UC) is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is a single monthly payment which will eventually replace:

  • Income Support.
  • Income Related Job Seeker's Allowance.
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit.

You can use the benefit calculator to find out if you are eligible for UC and how much you could get.

Help with Council tax is not included in your Universal Credit payment. If you would like to apply for Council Tax Support then please see ourCouncil Tax Support page.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments is a way of helping you if the Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (Housing Costs element) you get is not enough to pay your rent.

Discretionary Housing Payments are not the same as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. They are special payments, which come from a separate cash limited fund.

Please see our Discretionary Housing Payments page for more information. 

Universal Credit start dates in Mid Sussex Districts

UC has now (from 6th June 2018) been introduced to all working age claimants who have applied for a new/change to one of the included benefits in Mid Sussex. 

Claims for UC need to be made online, claims for Mid Sussex residents are covered by 5 Job Centre Plus offices, the office where any appointments you have following your initial claim is dependent on your postcode.

Existing benefit claimants

If you are already claiming any benefits you don't need to do anything. You'll be told when UC will affect you. However if your situation changes and this results in your benefits changing you may need to claim Universal credit if it has started in your area.  

New benefit claimants

You must claim Universal credit if you are  

  • of working age
  • not in receipt of the severe disability premium in your existing benefits

How to claim

Make a claim online

Proving your Identity

GOV.UK Verify is the new way to prove who you are online and speed up the process for claiming Universal Credit. It may remove the need for you to visit a Job Centre in person to prove who you are.

In most cases it takes less than 15 minutes to verify your identity the first time you use GOV.UK Verify. Any time after that, it should only take a couple of minutes to sign in. The service checks your personal details against records held by mobile phone providers, HM Passport Office, DVLA or credit agencies. There’s no effect on your credit score.

You can find more information on GOV.UK Verify at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introducing-govuk-verify/introducing-govuk-verify. Customers should be offered this service when applying for Universal Credit.

Universal Credit: Help to Claim advice service

If you’re worried about Universal Credit, you can talk to Citizens Advice in West Sussex they will start by assessing your situation to make sure you’re getting the right level of support. They can help you with:

  • Setting up your Universal Credit account
  • Completing your claim to-dos
  • Verifying your identity
  • Providing additional evidence
  • Making sure you’re providing the right evidence to the Jobcentre
  • Understanding what Universal Credit will mean for you

Get the full list of the help they can provide with Universal Credit.

This service is available at:

Haywards Heath Jobcentre Plus,
Kingsley House,
31 Boltro Road,
Haywards Heath,
RH16 1BP
(Tuesday and Thursday, 10am-2pm)

And also at advice centres in Haywards Heath, East Grinstead and Burgess Hill.

For telephone support, call the Citizens Advice Universal Credit Helpline: 0800 144 8 444
(Freephone, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm)

Internet access

All West Sussex Libraries have free public PCs which can be used for up to 2 hours a day, including those within the Mid Sussex district. To use the PCs residents need to join the library, ideally with proof of name and address. Membership is free.

All libraries also have free WiFi – and do not need to be a member to use this. Therefore enabling you to make or update your claim for Universal Credit even if you do not have WiFi or a pc at home.