Universal Credit is a payment which may be made to eligible people to help with living costs. It may be available if a person is on a low income or out of work. The payment is replacing a number of benefits, however the roll out is happening in stages. Universal Credit is currently available for new claimants, or for some existing benefits recipients who have had a change in circumstances.
The benefits it is replacing are known as legacy benefits.
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
It’s not possible to claim Universal Credit at the same time as any of these payments.
The gov.uk website states that the new system is being introduced in stages across the UK.
It adds that a person does not need to do anything until they head from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the move, unless they have a change in circumstances.
A person who gets or is entitled to the severe disability premium cannot claim Universal Credit.
People who got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and is still eligible for it, also cannot claim for Universal Credit.
The next phase of the rollout began in July this year, ahead of the movement of claimants for existing benefits onto Universal Credit.
A pilot scheme in Harrogate is now underway for this process, which is known as “managed migration”.
The DWP said that this trial will see no more than 10,000 legacy benefit claimants who have not had a change of circumstance move onto Universal Credit.
This pilot will last for at least a year.
The DWP has said claimants for the pilot will initially be selected from those currently attending the Jobcentre for meetings with their work coach.
According to the DWP, once these claimants were considered ready for the move, they would be given a migration notice, giving them at least three months to submit a claim for Universal Credit.
The DWP also said that these people would be eligible for transitional protection, so they would not lose out financially when they change.