Universal Credit is a new benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. The aim is to simplify the system by bringing together several different benefits and combine them into one single monthly payment called Universal Credit.
You can find out more about Universal Credit on the Department for Work and Pensions website
When does Universal Credit Start?
Universal Credit is now available to all new claimants who meet the gateway conditions; basically single people who are unemployed. This is known as the “live service”.
The “full digital service” is slowly being rolled out across the UK. This will open Universal Credit to all new claimants, regardless if they meet the gateway conditions, and will include new features. Aberdeenshire residents are not currently eligible for this service.
The full digital service will roll out in Aberdeenshire between November 2017 and June 2018. When you are affected will depend on what jobcentre you attend. The current roll out schedule is as follows:
- Montrose Jobcentre - November 2017
- Banff, Fraserburgh, and Peterhead Jobcentres - March 2018
- Buckie Jobcentre - April 2018
- Aberdeen Jobcentre - June 2018
If you are currently receiving benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions will contact you when you are due to move over to Universal Credit. This is not expected to start until July 2019.
How do I claim Universal Credit?
An application should be made online and will be followed by a face-to-face interview. If you don't have internet access you can go to your local library or Jobcentre to use a computer. For more information about internet access and support in Aberdeenshire please view our digital access leaflet.
How to get ready for Universal Credit
The Money Advice Service website provides information on how to get ready for Universal Credit and offers online support for those claiming Universal Credit.