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Universal Credit

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduced a wide range of reforms -

  • to make the benefits and Tax Credits system simpler;
  • to create the right incentives to get more people into work;
  • to protect the most vulnerable in our society
  • to deliver fairness to those claiming benefit and to the tax payer

Universal Credit is a new benefit and is at the heart of these reforms. It will replace 6 existing benefits with a simpler, single monthly payment if you are out of work or on a low income. The benefits to be replaced are:

  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit

Universal Credit is not taxable and will be paid monthly. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit, which means the amount you get depends on how much income and capital you've got. 'Capital' means things like savings and investments and some kinds of property.

Jobcentre Plus will administer Universal Credit although the Council will provide additional support to some claimants.

Please note that claims for Universal Credit cannot be backdated except in exceptional circumstances. Do not delay in making your claim.

Most claims for Universal Credit will be made online via the government's Universal Credit website. If you do not have access to a computer at home there are many public use computers available to use for free throughout the District - for example at the Jobcentre Plus, Craven District Council's Belle Vue Square offices or local libraries.

You will not be able to claim help with your Council Tax within Universal Credit. A separate claim form will be required and evidence will need to be provided to Craven District Council.    You may wish to try our on-line Benefits Calculator ()  to see how much help you might be entitled to.     

For more information on Universal Credit works, and how these changes may affect you, please visit the GOV.UK - Universal Credit website.      

You can also use the DWP Universal Credit Personal Planner to help find out what you need to do to be ready for Universal Credit.