Universal Credit is currently issued and administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is offered to eligible claimants once every month, and these people can often receive hundreds to help them with a variety of costs. Universal Credit was first introduced by the government in 2013, in an effort to simplify the benefit system in the UK.
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It replaced six other more familiar payments, known as ‘legacy’ benefits, which are:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
At present the scheme is being slowly rolled out, so there are still some people who will be claiming these older benefits.
However, it is hoped everyone eligible will be receiving Universal Credit by 2024.
It is estimated more than six million people will receive this benefit by the time it is fully implemented.
To qualify to receive Universal Credit several criteria must apply.
These are to do with age, location and financial circumstances.
Firstly, eligible Universal Credit claimants must be over the age of 18, but under State Pension age.
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As State Pension age is currently undergoing changes, it is important for Britons to check their eligibility, and this can be done through the government’s website.
Secondly, a person must live in the UK in order to qualify for the benefit.
And finally, Britons must also have £16,000 or less in savings between them and their partner.
People who are already claiming a benefit should be contacted if Universal Credit does apply to them, and then they will be eased onto the newer system.
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There is also a benefits calculator available on the government’s website for those who are unsure to check if they qualify.
But for those who are entitled to receive Universal Credit, it is important to have an understanding of how much they may receive.
A standard Universal Credit payment also has certain criteria, and these are based on a person’s age and relationship status.
Single people who are under the age of 25 are entitled to receive £342.72 in monthly standard allowance.
However, those who are single and over the age of 25 can get £409.89 per month.
For couples under 25, a monthly standard allowance of £488.59 is provided for them both.
And couples where either partner is over the age of 25 receive £594.04 to split between them.
Universal Credit claimants may also be able to receive additional payments on top of this standard amount.
This is dependent upon the situation, and those with children, people with disabilities, or individuals who need assistance with housing costs are just some of the people who could receive additional entitlement.
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