Universal Credit was first introduced in parts of the UK in 2013. It is likely to be rolled out in Fife from the beginning of 2016. It brings together a number of different benefits which are paid once a month into the claimant’s bank account.
It will replace Housing Benefit, income based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits.
Benefits which will continue include Disability Living Allowance, contribution based benefits, Carers Allowance and Child Benefit. When claiming Universal Credit you should be aware that some of these will count as income, reducing the total universal credit you will receive.
All claims for Universal Credit will be made and managed through an on-line account. If you have difficulty applying on-line you can receive help with your claim.
It is very important that you provide the correct information in your Universal Credit claim. If you get an overpayment because of wrong information, you could be fined up to £50.
Find out more about Universal Credit on the Gov UK website
What does Universal Credit consist of?
Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and up to five extra elements:
- Child element and disabled child additions
- Childcare element
- Carer element
- Limited capability for work element
- Housing element
When will I start to get Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is being rolled out gradually from 2014 – 2017
How often will I be paid Universal Credit?
Universal Credit will be paid monthly directly into your bank account. This means you will need to make a monthly budget to make sure you can afford important payments like your rent.
What happens to my Universal Credit payments if I start work or increase my hours?
If you start work or increase your hours your benefits won’t stop automatically. The payments will gradually be reduced the more you earn.