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Legacy benefits and universal credit


In most cases, new claims will come under the universal credit system. Therefore you cannot normally make a new claim for any of these benefits, known as 'legacy benefits':

  • child tax credit
  • housing benefit
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • income support
  • working tax credit

You must claim universal credit instead.

Already on a legacy benefit

If you are already getting one of these legacy benefits, you will eventually be asked to claim universal credit instead. You may also have to claim universal credit if your circumstances change.

Housing benefit

You can still make a new claim for housing benefit if:

* Before 15 May 2019, you could claim pension credit and housing benefit if either you or your partner had reached pension age: a 'mixed-age couple'. From 15 May 2019, you normally both have to be over pension age to make a new claim for either of these benefits; if one of you is under pension age, you will need to claim universal credit instead until the younger partner also reaches pension age. However, you can still make a new claim for pension credit or housing benefit if you had reached pension age by 14.5.19 and were entitled to housing benefit or pension credit on that date and have continued to be entitled to either of these benefits as part of the same mixed-age couple continuously since then.

Contributory benefits

You can still claim the following benefits if you have paid or been credited with enough national insurance contributions in certain tax years:

Tax credits

If you are already getting child tax credit, you can still add on a new claim for working tax credit. If you are already getting working tax credit, you can still add on a new claim for child tax credit. 


You can still claim carers allowance

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For more information on legacy benefits see our Disability Rights Handbook, which is available from our shop

The handbook has information on all benefits, education issues and social care.