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Universal Credit (UC) - What is Universal Credit (UC)?

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income.

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 (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit.

The above six benefits are also known as legacy benefits.

Universal Credit is paid on a monthly basis (or twice-monthly in Scotland). How much money you will get is worked out in two steps. First, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) works out what it thinks you should need to live on, based on your household’s circumstances. Next, it takes away some of the income you have coming in.

You don’t need to do anything if you are already claiming existing legacy benefits and your situation stays the same. 

Applies to: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

Type  of benefit: Means tested

Taxable: No

Administered by: Department for Work and Pensions

Updated: June 2019

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