Universal Credit (UC) is a simple, single payment for people out of work or in work and on a low income. It merges six existing ‘legacy’ benefits into one payment:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Under UC it will no longer be necessary to make a number of claims for different benefits. Instead only one claim will need to be made and one payment issued on a monthly basis.
At the moment UC is being introduced in stages in certain areas of the UK. Entitlement depends on where you live and your personal circumstances. Currently, in Monmouthshire UC only applies to single jobseekers of working age i.e. new claimants who would normally claim Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based) who meet certain conditions on their date of claim. This means single unemployed claimants had to claim UC to cover their living and housing costs. This is called ‘Live Service’. However, from 1st January 2018, new ‘Live Service’ claims will no longer be accepted by the Jobcentre and you will have to claim the old legacy benefits instead until ‘Full Service’ UC is rolled out. This is due to happen on 27th June 2018. At this point, working age claimants will no longer be able to make new claims to the legacy benefits mentioned above and will instead have to claim UC.
Please note – UC does not cover Council Tax. You will need to contact the Shared Benefit Service on 0800 028 2569 (free from landlines) or 0300 456 3559 (free from mobiles) in order to make a claim for a Council Tax Reduction. Alternatively you can make a claim online.
More information on UC can be found at Gov.uk