Universal Credit Roll Out & Policy
Universal Credit was introduced by the UK Government and is a single monthly payment that replaced six legacy benefits.
From the 31st of October 2018, anyone who had to make a new benefit claim, or update a current claim, was moved on to Unverisal Credit.
There are important differences to Universal Credit you need to know about:
- it can take up to 6 weeks from when you first make a claim until you get your first payment
- payments can be made fortnightly or monthly
- the money is paid directly to your bank account and will include your housing costs (rent)
- you will be asked to sign a claimant commitment. If you do not follow this, you can be sanctioned and lose all of your benefits
- you will get an online journal which you will use to keep DWP updated on your circumstances.
The Scotland Act 2016 introduced other ways people can recieve Unversal Credit. This is known as Scottish Choices and it is more flexible. You have the choice of:
- being paid Universal Credit twice a month rather than monthly
- having your Unversal Credit housing element being paid directly to your landlord to cover your rent.
These choices will be offered to people making new claims for Unversal Credit in full service area. You'll find this option in your online journal at the start of your second assessment period.
To claim Universal Credit:
- Visit the Government website, you will need an email address. We can help you get online and assist with updating your online journal.
- Your money will go into a bank account. We can refer you to our financial inclusion officer who will help you set up a bank account.
- It is up to you to pay your rent. However, our financial inclusion officer can also help you budget and set up a direct debit payment.
If your circumstances change and you need to claim Universal Credit, do it quickly so your first payment is not delayed.