Press release

Universal Credit starts in Wales

New jobseekers in Shotton can claim Universal Credit from 7 April 2014 as the new benefit rolls out.

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

Universal Credit

Shotton is the 10th site to accept Universal Credit claims and the first Jobcentre in Wales.

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.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said:

Today Universal Credit rolls out to the first claimants in Wales. People in Shotton will be able to claim Universal Credit and benefit from this new welfare system that helps make work pay.

We are redesigning how the state supports people who want to work hard while providing a safety net for those who fall on hard times.

We are bringing in Universal Credit in a slow, safe and controlled way. This careful approach is working well and we’re in a strong position as we continue to introduce it across the country.

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
  • 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 are made online. Universal Credit claims will respond in real time to changes in people’s circumstances, including when they take a job.

Universal Credit is up and running in Greater Manchester and the Cheshire area, along with Hammersmith, Inverness, Rugby, Bath and Harrogate.

Introduction to Universal Credit

We’ve produced a new video that explains Universal Credit to claimants.

Introduction to Universal Credit

There’s a transcript of the video in our Universal Credit toolkit for partner organisations.

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.

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.

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.

Contact Press Office

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Published 8 April 2014