What is Universal Credit (UC)?
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income.
It replaces six existing means-tested benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit is intended to be simpler than the current system of benefits and tax credits.
Universal Credit is paid on a monthly basis. Entitlement is worked out by comparing your basic financial needs that the government says you need to live on with your financial resources.
Universal Credit is being introduced gradually. Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances.
If you don’t live in a qualifying area or you are not eligible to claim Universal Credit you may be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance or other means tested benefits
You don’t need to do anything if you are already claiming existing benefits. You will be told by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) when you have to claim Universal Credit
Applies to: England, Scotland and Wales
It is not law yet in Northern Ireland but may be introduced at a later date. See the NI Direct website for more information.
Type of benefit: Means tested
Administered by: Department for Work and Pensions