Universal Credit is a new benefit that replaces the following six working-age welfare benefits:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
- Income Support.
- Working Tax Credit.
- Child Tax Credit.
- Housing Benefit.
The new benefit is being rolled out in phases across the UK, with the first claims in Orkney being taken from May 2015. The phased introduction across the UK has started with new claims from single people and will eventually include new claims from couples and families. It is expected that the full service for new claims will be completed by 2018, following which all existing claimants of the older (legacy benefits) will be transferred between 2019 and 2022.
Key features of Universal Credit include:
- A single payment monthly in arrears.
- Payments made into a bank account.
- Payments will include an amount for any rent due (called housing costs).
- The preferred means of making a claim is on-line.
More information can be found in the Related Sites section of this page.