Compared with the benefit system we have now, universal credit will be different in a number of ways.
The main changes for most people are:
- It will be a single benefit payment
- It will be paid monthly into a bank account
- You will claim it online
- You will have your own online account
- There are changes to who can get help with childcare costs
- If you're working and paying tax through the PAYE system your benefit will be calculated on income figures your employer sends to HMRC
- You don’t have to tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about every change in income
- Money for your rent will be paid directly to you and not to your landlord
- Some expenses for example childcare will need to be updated regularly on your account (probably monthly).
What benefits are being replaced?
Universal credit will eventually replace the following benefits:
- Child tax credit
- Housing benefit
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income support
- Support for mortgage interest
- Working tax credit (including help with childcare costs).
Anyone under pension credit age who is claiming any of the benefits listed above will be affected by the changes.
Other benefits including child benefit, contribution-based jobseeker's allowance, carer’s allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits will not be affected by universal credit and will remain as separate benefits.For a full break down of which benefits will be affected by universal credit you can visit the Turn2Us website.