A brief summary of common questions and answers about Universal Credit


Q. When will Universal Credit be introduced?

A. Universal Credit will be introduced on a national scale from October 2013, new claims for the unemployed will take place from October 2013 with in work claimants moving to the new system from April 2014. All other claimants will moved onto the Universal Credit programme from April 2014 and it is envisaged that all claimants will be transferred by 2017.


Q. Which benefits will Universal Credit replace?

A. Universal Credit will replace the following benefits; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.


Q. How can I claim Universal Credit?

A. Universal Credit is designed to be an online benefit so that each claimant can make a claim online and then personally manage their claim directly through an online account. The DWP state that “Claimants who cannot get online or use a computer will get support to complete their online claim for Universal Credit.


Q. What is included in my Universal Credit payment?

A. Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and a potential further five elements these being; Child Element / Disabled Child Additions • Childcare Element • Carer Element • Limited Capability for Work Element • Housing Element. Any award made will be based on a claimant’s personal circumstances.


Q. Will Universal Credit be paid weekly or monthly?

A. Universal Credit will be paid monthly.


Q. Will I be worse off under Universal Credit?

A. The Government has said that no-one will be worse-off as a result of moving onto the Universal Credit, because the Government will provide ‘cash protection’ when individuals switch over to the Universal Credit.

So if you were moved onto the Universal Credit and it looked like you would end up worse-off, the Government has said it will provide a top-up payment to keep your income at the same level as your previous benefit.

However this protection would not be permanent – if your circumstances changed your income would no longer be guaranteed.


Q. What about Universal Credit in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

A. Universal Credit will be introduced as follows;


Universal Credit will be introduced in Scotland from October 2013.

The Scottish Government has passed legislation to allow for the possibility that some aspects of Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment may have a different effect in Scotland to the rest of the UK.


Universal Credit will be introduced in Wales from October 2013.

Northern Ireland

Subject to legislation being passed, it is expected that the Northern Ireland Government will introduce Universal Credit from April 2014.



Please note: For further more detailed questions and answers please follow the link below that will direct you to the DWP website


DWP – Universal Credit: Frequently asked questions



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