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 which are also known as legacy benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit is intended to be simpler than the current system of benefits and tax credits, however many people locally have experienced a variety of problems including long waiting periods for their first payment. Universal Credit is being introduced gradually. Whether you can claim depends on your personal circumstances.
You don’t need to do anything if you are already claiming existing legacy benefits and your situation stays the same. You will be told by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) when you have to claim Universal Credit.