May elections

You must register to vote in the upcoming May elections before Wednesday 17 April. If you cannot attend the elections, you can apply for a postal vote before 5pm on Wednesday 17 April. Find all the key dates on our election news page.


Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people out of work or on a low income.

Universal Credit has been rolled out to all new claimants in Harlow. 

This means that if you live in Harlow and need help paying your rent, you will need to claim Universal Credit, unless you:

  • have reached State Pension age
  • live in supported accommodation
  • live in temporary accommodation

If you do fall into one of these categories, you will need to claim Housing Benefit

Universal Credit is administered and paid by The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It replaces these 6 benefits:

  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

You can find more information on Universal Credit at GOV.UK


You need to claim Universal Credit on GOV.UK

To make a claim you will need:

  • an email address to set up an account
  • your postcode
  • your National Insurance number
  • details of the bank, building society or credit union account you would like any Universal Credit award paid into
  • tenancy agreement and your current rent amount
  • details of any income, savings or capital
  • details of children including a child benefit number
  • photo ID, such as a passport or photo driving license (not essential but speeds up the claiming process)

If you do not have a bank account then you can look at the Harlowsave or Money Helper website to get help to open an account.

Receiving payments

You will receive your Universal Credit payments monthly in arrears into your bank account.

When you receive Universal Credit, you will need to think more carefully about how you will budget your money.

In the past you would have probably received one payment for your rent (your housing benefit) and a separate payment for your living costs. As your Universal Credit will be paid monthly, you will need to pay all your bills, including your rent, from this payment.

You can use a budgeting calculator to help you manage your money.

Other support

If you qualify for Universal Credit then you may also be able to get Council Tax Support