Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age customers that will eventually replace the current benefits -
- Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)
- Employment Support Allowance (Income Based)
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Universal Credit combines these six benefits into one, which is paid monthly in arrears in most circumstances. Claimants are now able to apply for advance payment of their Universal Credit award, which is repayable over a 12 month period.
From the 12 December 2018, if you need to make a new claim for any of these benefits, or have a change in your circumstances, you will need to make a claim for Universal Credit. There are limited exceptions to this. If you are currently receiving one of these benefits, you do not need to do anything yet. Only those needing to make a new claim or have a change in circumstances will be affected.
The government is currently making plans to begin to transfer all other customers from their old benefits onto Universal Credit and we have been told that this will not start to happen until 2020 at the earliest. Wait until you are contacted by the DWP before making a claim for Universal Credit.
Some people will be better off and some people will be worse off in Universal Credit. Others will receive about the same money as they do now. To get an estimate of what you may receive on Universal Credit based on your current circumstances, use our benefits calculator here.