The Universal Credit roll out continues in stages across the United Kingdom. In short, UC is replacing six welfare benefits with one monthly payment for those who qualify.
WHAT IS UNIVERSAL CREDIT? The new benefit system will provide a regular payment to help with the cost of living.
In most cases, Universal Credit payments will get paid every four weeks. But, some claimants in Scotland will get paid twice a month.
You must meet the eligibility criteria to claim Universal Credit. As a rule, most people on a low income or those who are out of work will get it.
Universal Credit has not yet rolled to all areas of the United Kingdom. Thus, your area postcode and your household circumstances determine whether you can claim.
You may already be receiving payments from the list of benefits that Universal Credit will replace. They are:
What if you are currently receiving any of these benefits? It means you will not be able to claim Universal Credit at the same time.
So, there is no need for benefit claimants to do anything. The Department for Work and Pensions will contact you. DWP will help you move to Universal Credit when the roll out reaches your area. The exception could be if any of your circumstances change.
Note: Some of the rules for Universal Credit benefit system differ for claimants living in Northern Ireland.
APPLYING FOR UC: You must apply for Universal Credit online. Claim UC as a couple if you and your partner are living together (even if you are not married).
UC ELIGIBILITY: Most people will qualify if they are out of work or get a low income. There are several ways to check if you meet the Universal Credit eligibility criteria.
UC AMOUNTS: Information in the section lists the current rates of Universal Credit. The guide will help you work out the different amounts available - depending on your circumstances.
ADVANCE PAYMENT: You can get an advance while waiting for the first payment of Universal Credit. It applies most for claimants who need help paying bills or covering other living costs.
UC PAYMENTS: The DWP have some flexibility on the payment frequencies of Universal Credit. But, as a rule, Universal Credit is a single payment that gets paid once a month.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES: The section explains your responsibilities if you get Universal Credit. The agreement made with your work coach is the 'Claimant Commitment'.
REPORTING CHANGES: You must report a change of circumstances if you get Universal Credit. Reporting any changes means you will continue to get the right amount each month.
IF YOU NEED HELP: You can get other financial support if you are struggling on Universal Credit. Find out what help you can get from your council, the government, and other organisations.
Universal Credit Benefit System in the United Kingdom