Press release

Universal Credit expands to Bath and Harrogate

New jobseekers in Bath and Harrogate will be able to make a claim for Universal Credit today as the new benefit rolls out.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Universal Credit

Universal Credit rolls 6 benefits into 1 and is a vital reform to the welfare state that rewards work, as part of the government’s long-term economic plan.

Jobseekers will also be required to sign the new Claimant Commitment. This sets out more fully what jobseekers must do in order to receive state support – providing clear information about the help to find work and consequences of failing to meet requirements.

Universal Credit is up and running in Greater Manchester and the Cheshire area, along with Hammersmith, Inverness and Rugby. It will expand to Shotton by the spring.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said:

Universal Credit is modern welfare that rewards people who move into work, supports those who’ve fallen on hard times and is fair to taxpayers.

We are introducing Universal Credit in a slow, safe and controlled way. This careful approach is working well and we’re in a strong position as we bring Universal Credit to Bath and Harrogate for the first time.

Most people are claiming it online, the IT is working and comprehensive support is in place. We will build on these successes as Universal Credit continues to roll out.

People who claim Universal Credit have access to support delivered by a mix of local authorities and third sector organisations to help them budget their money, get online and manage their claim online.

Other developments to support the cultural transformation Universal Credit will bring include:

  • the introduction of the Claimant Commitment in 100 jobcentres a month until it is fully in place nationally in the spring

  • 6,000 new computers in jobcentres across the country for claimants to search for and apply for jobs online, replacing the dated job points

The first claimants to Universal Credit are single jobseekers and the majority of claims will be made online. Universal Credit claims will respond in real time to changes in people’s circumstances, including when they take a job.

More about Universal Credit

Universal Credit replaces income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Housing Benefit.

Jobcentre advisers and claimants agree a Claimant Commitment, based on their individual circumstances, which will clearly set out the jobseeker’s responsibilities to find work.

When a claimant starts work, Universal Credit will be steadily withdrawn as their income increases.

Universal Credit was introduced in the pathfinder area of Ashton-under-Lyne on 29 April 2013.

The Claimant Commitment sets out more fully what someone needs to do in order to receive state support – building on current support and providing clear information about the consequences of failing to meet requirements.

Contact Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release – 0203 267 5109

Press Office

Caxton House
Tothill Street


Follow DWP on:

Published 24 February 2014