“A welfare state fit for the 21st century.” On the 29th September the DWP announced the rollout of Universal Credit to all Jobcentres across the country from early 2015.
Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary, said:
“(Universal Credit) has now rolled out in the north west of England – to couples, shortly to families, to more than 1 in 8 jobcentres by Christmas – safely and securely as I always said.
“Today I can announce that we are going to accelerate the delivery of Universal Credit from the new year, bringing forward the national rollout through 2015/16 to every single community across Great Britain. Secure national delivery, yet at the same time, delivering that life change at a local level; strengthening community partnerships, helping vulnerable households. Not just helping the economy but reducing child poverty as well.
“It is bringing up to £35 billion in economic benefits to Britain over the next decade, helping people to get into work quicker and stay in it longer, making a lasting difference to people’s lives now and for generations to come. Universal Credit is going nationwide. I promise you we are going to finish what we started.”
What is Universal Credit?
Universal credit is a new government reform, turning six benefits and tax credits into one monthly payment. It is designed so that you benefit more from being in work than on benefits.
Universal Credit will replace:
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
It is currently being introduced in stages, and already available in North-west England, Inverness, Harrogate, Shotton, Hammersmith and Bath.
What does Universal Credit mean for you?
Universal Credit may be available to you if you’re on low income or out of work.
If you’re unable to work, Universal Credit will support you, and if you start work or see an increase in hours, Universal Credit will top up your earnings.
There are no limits to the number of hours you can work a week if you receive Universal Credit. Your payment will reduce gradually as you earn more and you won’t lose all your benefits at once if you’re on a low income.
If you’re successful in your claim, you’ll usually get your first payment 1 month and 7 days after you made your claim.
How to claim
To claim you’ll need the following list of things at hand:
– National Insurance number
– Details of the bank, building society or Post Office account you want Universal Credit paid into
– Your rent agreement (if you have one)
– Details of your savings or other capital
– Details of any income that’s not from work (eg. From and an insurance plan)
– Details of any other benefits you’re getting
– You might also need these details for people who live in your home, eg. Your partner.
You can make your claim here. gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
Call the Universal Credit helpline if you need help making your claim online.
Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Textphone: 0345 600 0743
If you don’t have access to a computer and the internet at home, look up a list of computer drop-in services and libraries at gov.uk/