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. We expect this to be rolled out in Aberdeenshire sometime between April 2017 and September 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
You can also find out more by using the Money Advice website, which has a section on how to get ready for Universal Credit by clicking here.