Benefits and debt advice

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) is for people who have no income or are working on a low income. 

It can cover essential money 

  • to live on
  • for housing costs
  • for extra costs for children
  • to support for ill-health
  • for disability support.

Find out how to claim Universal Credit

Support and advice for Universal Credit

If you are receiving Working Tax Credit or any other ‘legacy benefit’ such as Employment Support Allowance or Housing Benefit you should get advice before making a claim for UC.

For independent advice on Universal Credit (UC) other benefits contact the Advice Shop on 0131 200 2360  or email

For help making a claim to UC or general information about UC contact the Citizens Advice Scotland Help to Claim UC line on 0800 023 2581.

Job centres

There are 3 main job centres in Edinburgh

1. Leith

2. High Riggs

3. Wester Hailes

There are also job centres in Waverley Mall and North Bridge in the city centre.

Enquiries about new claims should be made through your online UC journal or by calling 0800 328 5644

Self employed and unable to work

If you are already claiming certain benefits such as

⦁ Housing Benefit

⦁ Working Tax Credits

⦁ Child Tax Credits

You may be better off staying on these benefits rather than claiming UC. You should report the change in your income to Housing Benefit.

If you are already getting UC then you must update your journal online with your new income information. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have removed the ‘Minimum Income Floor’ within UC. This means a £94 minimum per week is available.

Things you must consider

  1. If you are self employed and having to stop work you should claim UC. If your household income or savings are too high for UC, you should consider contributions based benefits such as new style JSA or ‘new style’ ESA.
  2. Claiming UC also doubles as a claim for Council Tax Reduction (CTR). As part of the UC claim you will be asked if the information you’ve provided can be shared with the Local Authority, if you tick yes this will also be treated as a claim for CTR.

For businesses and self-employed people concerned about paying tax call the HMRC helpline on 0800 0159 559.