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What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is intended to streamline and simplify the benefits system and is the biggest change in the welfare system in a generation.

The main differences between Universal Credit (UC) and the current welfare system are:

  • UC will be available to people who are in work and on a low income, as well as to those who are out of work.
  • Most people will apply online and manage their claim through an online account (digital by default). Thereafter claimants will be expected to deal with Job Centre Plus by telephone via the Service Centre.
  • UC will be responsive, as people on low incomes move in and out of work; they’ll get ongoing support – giving people more incentive to work for any period of time that is available.
  • Most claimants on low incomes will remain on UC when they first start a new job or increase their part-time hours.
  • Claimants will receive just one monthly payment in arrears, paid into a bank account in the same way as a monthly salary
  • Support with housing costs will go direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment
  • Local Authorities will not be responsible for the administration of housing costs support
  1. Universal credit FAQ's