Universal Credit (UC) roll-out 2013
From 29 April 2013, some newly unemployed people in Ashton-under-Lyne started to claim Universal Credit rather than Jobseeker's Allowance. To be able to claim Universal Credit you had to fit certain criteria as the Department for Work and Pensions was only taking 'simple' claims - you had to:
- live in a specified postcode area but not be homeless, in supported or temporary accommodation, nor a homeowner
- be single, with no dependent children, a British citizen and aged between 18 years and 60 years and 6 months (some jobcentres are now taking claims from couples)
- be fit for work
- not have received a payment of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) that ended in the last 2 weeks, except where ESA ended due to a decision that you no longer have limited capability for work
- not be pregnant nor have given birth within the last 15 weeks
- not be receiving existing benefits or tax credits, nor awaiting a decision on a claim to them, nor be appealing against a decision not to award any of those
- not be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
- have expected take home pay no higher than £270 per month (under 25s) or £330 per month (25 or over) and not have savings in excess of £6,000
- not have any caring responsibilities
- not be self-employed, in education nor have a person acting on your behalf over your claim, and
- have a valid bank account and National Insurance Number.
From 1 July 2013, the roll-out continued with single job seekers in Wigan being able to make a claim for Universal Credit instead of claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. From 29 July 2013 Universal Credit was rolled out to single job seekers in Oldham and Warrington as well.
October 2013 - March 2014
Starting from October 2013, Universal Credit expanded to six new Jobcentres by March 2014: