What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a social protection program designed to bundle a number of benefits into one monthly payment.
It replaces the following benefits:
- Child tax credit
- Housing allowance
- Income support
- Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Employment and Income Support Benefit (ESA)
- Work Tax Credit
This means that instead of getting several small benefits, you’ll get one monthly payment – or twice a month for some people in Scotland.
Almost all new claims for benefits will automatically get Universal Credit.
Those who get Severe Disability Grant (SDP) under the old system can now transfer to Universal Credit and may qualify for the transitional SDP element.
If you are already receiving one of the six benefits that Universal Credit is replacing, you cannot apply for Universal Credit at the same time.
You will need to switch to the new system and start applying for Universal Credit instead of these old benefits.
Everyone will be moved by the end of 2024 when the DWP aims to “migrate” everyone.
You can also be transferred when you have a change of situation which puts an end to one of the old benefits.
If your circumstances change, for example if you get a pay rise or move in with a partner, you must tell the Department for Work and Pensions.