What is Universal Credit?
You may have received a letter about Universal Credit or watched the news recently.
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK and this will happen here from 13th December onwards.
Universal Credit (UC) replaces several current means tested benefits with one monthly payment and is paid to people in or out of work.
From 13th December some households who make a new claim or have a change in their circumstances (e.g. move house, have a baby) will have to claim Universal Credit if they were previously claiming one of the means tested benefits listed below:
Which benefits does UC replace?
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income support
- Housing benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
If you are receiving Child Benefit, PIP (or DLA) or child maintenance you will continue to receive those payments separately.
Who will qualify?
Universal Credit is available to working age people who are in full-time work or part time work, who are unemployed, sick or disabled, single, lone parents and couples.
You can claim Universal Credit if you own your house, a tenant, or is you live in someone else’s household (e.g. your parent’s house).
If you are claiming one of the above benefits but do not have any change of circumstances then you will be transferred onto Universal Credit but this will not happen until at least July 2018 (the exact date is not yet known).
You don’t need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstances. There is currently a six week wait when you do apply for Universal Credit so you may want to think about how you can put some money aside in advance.
I will continue to update my website with details about information about Universal Credit and local support organisations. You can also visit the Gov.uk website for information.