Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income.
Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. It replaces the following benefits:
Universal Credit was introduced in certain areas of Greater Manchester and Cheshire in April 2013. It is being gradually rolled out to the rest of the UK from October 2013. This roll out will be completed by 2017.
Claiming Universal Credit
To claim Universal Credit, you need to:
be 18 or over (or 16 or 17 in certain cases)
be under State Pension age
live in the UK
not be in education
accept a claimant commitment (see below).
If you have a partner, you will need to make a joint claim for Universal Credit. If one of you doesn’t meet the requirements, they will not be included in the amount of Universal Credit you get, but both of your savings, income and earnings will be taken into account.
The ‘claimant commitment’ sets out your responsibilities in terms of your Universal Credit award. It includes work-related requirements.However, there are groups who are not required to demonstrate they are working, preparing for work or looking for work. This includes people with limited capability for work-related activity, people with certain caring responsibilities, and single parents with a child under one.
If you have a partner, you may be placed in different groups depending on your individual circumstances.
How much you’ll get
Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and five additional elements, which may be paid monthly depending on your circumstances.
These are the standard monthly allowance rates:
Single claimant aged under 25 - £246.81
Single claimant aged 25 or over - £311.55
Joint claimants aged under 25 - £387.42
Joint claimants aged 25 or over - £489.06
These are the five elements:
Child element/disabled child additions.
Limited capability for work-related activity element.
Contact a Macmillan welfare rights adviser on 0808 808 00 00 for more information about Universal Credit and the five additional elements.
Welfare reform in Northern Ireland - Autumn 2013 update
The Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Bill is still under consideration. While it was originally expected that reforms to the benefits system in Northern Ireland would start to be introduced in summer 2013, these changes are now not expected to occur until at least spring 2014. The latest news on the reforms can be found on our welfare reform page and also at nidirect.gov.uk
Macmillan Cancer Support, in partnership with Citizens Advice, provides a dedicated Welfare Rights Service to cancer people affected by cancer in Northern Ireland. For information and support, or to arrange an appointment, please call 0300 1 233 233. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-12.30pm and 1pm-4pm.
You can also call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.
For benefits information and support in Northern Ireland please visit nidirect.gov.uk or call 0800 232 1271.
You can also contact the Northern Ireland Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 220 674, or textphone 0800 243 787 if you are deaf or hard of hearing.