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What is Universal Credit and when is it coming to Wolverhampton?

Universal Credit is a new (non-taxable) benefit which is due to be rolled-out in Wolverhampton from Monday 8th February 2016.

It is designed to provide financial support to people of 'working age' to assist with the cost of day-to-day living, rent and/or mortgage payments.

Which benefits will Universal Credit replace?

When fully rolled-out Universal Credit will replace:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

If you currently get one of these benefits you do not need to do anything at this stage. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and/or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will contact you when the time comes for you to claim Universal Credit as part of the 'managed migration'.

Can I remain on Universal Credit whilst working?

Information about your actual earnings will be used by the DWP to work out your correct entitlement therefore even if you work different hours each week or you take a job that lasts a few weeks you will not need to transfer from one set of benefits to another. If your pay means that you are no longer entitled to a payment of Universal Credit your claim will still remain live for six months. This means that within this time you can return to Universal Credit without needing to make a fresh claim.

Which benefits will Universal Credit NOT replace?

The benefits that Universal Credit will not replace include Child Benefit, Carers Allowance, Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Contributory Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment. Also because Universal Credit is for 'working-age' people, it will also not be replacing Pension Credit, State Retirement Pension or Attendance Allowance.

Working Age

Here 'working age' means people aged 16 or over but under the 'qualifying age for Pension Credit' - the age at which you can claim Pension Credit. This is not necessarily the same as State Pension Age (i.e. the age you can retire). You can find out if you have reached the 'qualifying age for Pension Credit' by visiting: www.gov.uk/calculate-state-pension