What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a benefit that the Government introduced across the UK to replace several existing means-tested benefits with one single monthly payment. If you are of working age and have a low income (whether you are working or not), you may be entitled to claim Universal Credit.

The benefits being replaced by Universal Credit are:

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

Universal Credit includes a standard allowance and can include additional amounts for people with limited capability for work or for work-related activity, caring responsibilities; children; children with disabilities and housing costs.

The amount of Universal Credit is set to a maximum award, called the Benefit Cap, to include both daily living costs and housing costs. Some people are exempt from the Benefit Cap, including those that receive DLA or PIP or the support component of ESA.

If you are making a new claim to means tested benefits, or if there are certain changes in your circumstances, you may have to claim Universal Credit.  If you already receive a means tested benefit but your circumstances don't change the Government plan is for you to be moved over to Universal Credit between July 2019 and December 2023.

Further information can be found on RNIB's Universal Credit webpage. 

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