Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK, but you do not need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstances and if you making a new claim.
Rollout of the Universal Credit full service is due to complete in December 2018.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal credit is a benefit system aimed at supporting those on a low income or out of work.
The financial aid is paid monthly in the UK, other than in Scotland where it is paid twice a month.
Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit.
If you still receive any of these benefits, you cannot claim Universal Credit at the same time.
You can claim Universal Credit if you’re unemployed and also if you are working.
There is no limit to the number of hours you can work per week if you get universal credit, but your payment reduces gradually as you earn more.
Which areas will get universal credit?
The government had originally intended to roll out Universal Credit based on an October 2013 start date.
However the timetable has been revised on a number of occasions.
Pilots started in a few jobcentres around Manchester and during 2013 and 2014, the pilot are was expanded to include the whole of north-west England.
Then from February 2015, the national rollout started and further pilot areas outside north-west England were included in the scheme.
During 2015 and 2016, Universal Credit was gradually rolled out across the whole of the UK for new claims by single jobseekers and finished on April 27, 2016.
Existing benefit and tax credit claimants who do not have a change of circumstance will not be migrated onto Universal Credit until July 2019, with this process being completed in March 2022.
Universal Credit is being rolled out across 64 areas across Britain this month.
It is expected the full service will be available everywhere by the end of the year.
These are the areas Universal Credit is being rolled out this month:
-Bolton Blackhorse St
-Bolton Great Moor St
-Edinburgh High Rigg
-Edinburgh Wester Hailes
-Sheffield Bailey Court
-Sheffield Cavendish Court