Universal Credit is a new benefit that will support people out of work or on a low income. It is being introduced in stages and will affect around 8 million people in the UK.
It will replace six, older benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
The government hopes that Universal Credit will make benefits easier for everyone. It comes as one payment, with everything rolled together into one. You won’t need to chase lots of payments each month.
Right now if you have a question about your benefits you have to contact a few different numbers to get an answer. With Universal Credit you will do everything through one helpline and internet account.
The Department for Work and Pensions will manage Universal Credit. They say most people will be better off on Universal Credit than older benefits. They also say it will encourage people to get back to work by providing training and support to find a job.
If you do find a job while receiving Universal Credit, your payments won’t stop suddenly. They will go down gradually until you get on your feet and feel comfortable by yourself.
Universal Credit will only affect new claims for now. If you currently receive benefits, nothing will change for you and you don’t need to worry. The government will contact you when they are ready for you to switch over. Only contact them if your current circumstances change that might affect your benefits.
Changing to a new type of benefit can be scary, especially if you have children or rent to pay. Universal Credit should be easier for you but it might be hard to understand. A lot of the information about it is hard to understand or confusing. Below, you will find everything you need to know about Universal Credit and what will change for you. Hopefully, this will make the change less scary for you and your family.