Universal Credit: what it means for you
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a new simpler, single monthly payment for working age people in work or out of work. It is designed to ensure you will always be better off in a job than on benefits. Universal Credit will make it financially worthwhile to work more hours, or start a new job.
Universal Credit merges together:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits, and
- Housing Benefit.
When will Universal Credit begin?
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages from April 2013 and will be completed by 2017:
- 29 April 2013: The Pathfinder for Universal Credit begins in selected areas within the local authorities of Oldham, Tameside, Warrington and Wigan.
- Ashton-under-Lyne will be the first Jobcentre to accept claims for Universal Credit from 29 April. Claimants will be expected to make their claim online at www.gov.uk/universalcredit
- From 29 April, Wigan, Warrington and Oldham Jobcentres will begin by trialling the new Claimant Commitment and will take claims for Universal Credit starting from July.
- Gradual national rollout will start from October 2013, and full Universal Credit migration will be completed by 2017.
What do I need to do?
If you already claim a benefit
If you already claim one of the six benefits that will be replaced by Universal Credit, you will continue to do so for now.
If you are making a new benefit claim
From 29 April 2013 you may be eligible to make a claim for Universal Credit if you live in one of these Ashton-under-Lyne postcodes: OL6, OL7, M43, SK16
If you make a claim for Universal Credit there will be some additional simple questions to check you are eligible to claim. If you are not eligible for Universal Credit you will be directed to information about other benefits that you may be able to claim.