From today (Wednesday 25 May) Universal Credit becomes available to all types of claimant in Bath, Newcastle, Bridgwater, Rugby and Lowestoft as the service expands to people in and out of work, those on low incomes and those with disabilities.
Universal Credit is already offered to all single jobseekers across the country. From today this is now expanding in Bath, Newcastle, Bridgwater, Rugby and Lowestoft to jobseekers with families. And for the first time people in these areas who would previously have made a new claim to income based jobseekers or employment and support allowance, income support, working and child tax credit or housing benefit will now instead claim Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is simplifying the system by combining 6 benefits into one monthly payment, which adjusts to people’s individual circumstances. It is also revolutionising welfare by making work pay, and helping those who are in work to increase their hours and earnings.
Families on Universal Credit who move into work on low pay will now be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs – boosting their finances by over £13,000 a year.
Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said:
Universal Credit is transforming lives and is central to our vision of a society where anyone, regardless of their background, can get on in life and reach their potential.
Universal Credit simplifies the system and is much more flexible, enabling claimants who may have been out of a job for a while to take on small amounts of work to build up their skills and confidence.
Today sees the next step in revolutionising welfare by expanding Universal Credit to make it available to the full range of claimants, and bringing the additional support it offers to parents to help them re-enter the world of work.
All types of claimants in those areas will now be able to benefit from the improved, personalised, one-to-one support that Universal Credit can offer them.
Those on Universal Credit will now have 24 hour access to a simple online account that they can use to manage their claim, including reporting changes of circumstances, checking the details of their claim and date of their next Universal Credit payment.
With the application process now completely online, Universal Credit is designed to streamline the system, making the benefit system simpler to navigate and easier to understand.
Universal Credit replaces 6 benefits with a single monthly payment to a household. People in these areas will claim Universal Credit as the following benefits close: