Should you claim tax credits or universal credit?
If you are making your first claim for tax credits or universal credit where you live determines which one you will get.
If you live in an area where universal credit is available to families you will have no choice but to claim that. Check postcode finder below.
In areas where universal credit is not available to families you need to claim tax credits. However if universal credit is expected to become available within the next 3 weeks you will need to act fast if you wish to claim tax credits.
You could be better off claiming tax credits, rather than universal credit, if you have over £16,000 in savings, a member of your family has a disability or your earnings are low.
When making a claim for tax credits in an area where universal credit will soon be available to families the helpline adviser should ask if you want to make the claim on the phone.
This is to ensure the claim will be processed quickly. You can still opt for a paper claim form to be sent to you but risk missing the deadline for claiming tax credits and have to claim universal credit instead.