It will replace a range of existing means tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age. It will combine the following 6 benefits into one payment:
● Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
● Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
● Income Support
● Child Tax Credit
● Working Tax Credit
● Housing Benefit
A cap will be put on the amount you can claim. This will be restricted to £500 per week or £26,000 per year. This will only apply to working age benefits. Pensioners are not affected.
The Government has a number of objectives in introducing Universal Credit:
● Benefits should be easier to understand and easier to claim
● Everyone should be better off working, as opposed to claiming benefits.
● There should be a smooth transition between being out of work and starting a job.
● As someone’s wages increase they should be able to keep more of the money they earn.
It will be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. Their aim is that the majority of customers will make their claims either on line or via call centres. Bury Council will no longer deal with most claims for Housing Benefit.
The aim is to make one payment per household, every month, directly to the person making the claim.
This will affect people who currently have their Housing Benefit paid directly to their landlords.
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Currently, you may be able to claim if you’re eligible and you live in the North-West of England. You don’t need to do anything if you’re already claiming any benefits - you’ll be told when Universal Credit will affect you.
Click onto the Gov.uk website to find out more information on benefits and what you are entitled to.