Universal Credit (UC) is a benefit for people under retirement age who are either:
- out of work, for example due to an illness or caring
- on a low income.
UC is gradually being introduced across the UK. It can include money for basic living costs, looking after children and housing.
UC is replacing six other means-tested benefits:
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
If you currently get any of these benefits, and your circumstances change, you may have to claim UC instead. You can speak to a welfare rights adviser to find out more. After 2019, more people will gradually be moved to UC, and will need to be reassessed. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland will contact you to change your claim.