Welfare Reform and Universal Credit

Universal Credit brings benefits & tax credits together in a single monthly payment. For Universal Credit you will need to have a bank account and set up arrangements to pay your bills such as rent

Universal Credit will eventually replace the following means tested benefits for everyone:


  • Income Support,
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance,
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, 
  • Housing Benefit and Tax Credits.

Universal Credit brings all these benefits & tax credits together in a single monthly payment. In preparation for Universal Credit you will need to have a bank account and set up arrangements to pay your bills such as rent. For further information please visit the Department for Works and Pensions Universal Credit information.

For the Torridge District Council area, there are various dates for Universal Credit Full Service going live.

The table below details the job centre name, post code affected and the 'go live' date for people who live in those areas and who would need to apply for any of the above mentioned benefits.  From the dates listed, you should make a claim for Universal Credit, including any claim for housing costs (for further information see 'making a claim for UC')

06 December 2017

Plymouth, Bude & Launceston Job centres go live UCFS

Postcodes affected:

PL16 0; EX22 6;  EX23 9; PL15 9

04 July 2018

Bideford Job centre go live UCFS

Postcodes affected:

EX19; EX21; Ex22 7 (Bude); EX22 (Holsworthy); EX38; EX39

26 September 2018

Exeter Job centre go live UCFS

Postcodes affected:

EX20 3; EX20 4; EX21 5

2019 onwards

Remaining HB WA claims will be migrated to UC

Note - Universal Credit does NOT include help with paying your Council Tax, and a separate application for help needs to be made to the Council.

pdf icon Making a claim for Universal Credit [416kb]

pdf icon Change of Circumstances guide for Torridge [30kb]


Universal Credit - evidence needed from landlords to support a claim for the Housing element of Universal Credit

Please click here for details about the evidence that is required from landlords to support a claim for the Housing element of Universal Credit

pdf icon Landlord Universal Credit information letter November 2017 [52kb]

Universal Credit newsletters are published quarterly by the Department for Work and Pensions and provide information to social and private landlords about Universal Credit.  The link below will direct you to the relevant website:

DWP Universal Credit Landlord newsletters


The Government has made very significant changes to the benefits and tax credits system.  This is bringing a great deal of uncertainty and fear for many people under pension age who receive help with everyday living costs from the Government.

To help explain what these changes could mean for you, we have put together this simple guide that will direct you to information and support to help you cope with the changes.

Welfare Reform - coping with the changes


Benefits Advisor (provided externally by .gov.uk)

Use the benefits adviser to...


  • check which benefits you may be able to get
  • get an estimate of the benefits, tax credits or pension that may be available
  • compare estimates if your situation changes
  • save your answers for up to seven days
  • download/print results for reference

To answer all the questions you will need information about...


  • savings
  • earnings eg pay slips
  • benefit/pension details
  • outgoings, eg Council Tax, rent/mortgage, childcare payments
  • if you rent a property from a private landlord, your Local Housing Allowance rate

Visit the Directgov Benefits Advisor now

Help with budgeting - Provided by LearnDevon Community  Development Co-ordinator - Morgan Quick

We offer  a healthy eating on a budget advice course - 20hrs accredited and free to anyone claiming means tested benefits.  The course looks at the cost of food, creating a healthy menu, budgeting for food and what you really spend your money on.  For example;  a chocolate bar a day will cost you £237 a year! And if you buy a pack of cigarettes a day@ £7 per pack, £2555.

We can also link with supermarkets to have tours and talk about basics ranges  and use of frozen versus fresh veg ( not what you think as frozen is often better nutritionally and more economical)

The tutor is also trained through "waste not want not programme"

The course is fun but with a serious side

We can also offer a workshop about the change to monthly benefits and impact on families/adults .Workshops will discuss some top tips for saving money and budgeting monthly, including

1. Applying for the warm home discount as £140 off your energy bill is not to be sniffed at!

2. Paperless billing (often 10% discount on energy bills)

3. Paying by direct debit

4. Looking at what to pay as vital and what could be classed as treats

5. Look at planning for the month so that money lasts till next benefits payment

This would be a one off workshop for groups.

If you are over 19 years of age and would like to know more about healthy eating on a budget and/or the monthly budgeting advice workshop please contact Morgan Quick on 01237 472462