Universal Credit

Universal Credit will replace many existing benefits

Universal Credit (UC) is a single means-tested benefit which will be paid to people of working age. It will replace most means-tested benefits including:

When will the changes happen?

Universal Credit is a new single benefit for working-age people. It will gradually replace most means-tested benefits such as income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, tax credits and Housing Benefit.

Universal Credit will start in one area in the North of England on 29 April 2013 and then be rolled out gradually to the rest of the country over the following months and years.

It's expected that Universal Credit will cover all benefit claims by 2017.

See Also

Universal Credit – effect on 'mixed-age' couples

Date: 31 January 2013

Universal Credit is a new benefit, due to be introduced in stages from April 2013. It will eventually replace means-tested benefits and tax credits for working-age claimants.

If you and your partner have both reached the age for getting Pension Credit, you will not be affected by the introduction of Universal Credit, except that your Housing Benefit will eventually be replaced by a new Housing Credit. You will still be able to get Pension Credit if you qualify for it.

However, if one of you has reached the age for getting Pension Credit and the other is of working age, you could be worse off under Universal Credit.

At the moment, 'mixed-age' couples who need to claim means-tested benefits can choose to claim Pension Credit if one of them has reached the age for getting it. Under the new benefit system, they will no longer be able to choose but will have to claim Universal Credit, which will be paid at a much lower rate than Pension Credit. The working-age partner is also likely to have to meet the work-related requirements in order for you to get Universal Credit.

If you think you might qualify for Pension Credit but aren't getting it, you might want to think about whether to apply for it now.

For more information: