Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) was introduced in 2013 in an attempt to simplify the welfare system by 'rolling' six means-tested benefits and tax credits into a single monthly payment.

The main purpose of Universal Credit is to provide a greater incentive for people on benefits to work.

Supporters of Universal Credit hope it will reduce in work poverty by making it easier for people to move in and out of work ending what has come to be known as the benefit trap.

The government hopes that Universal Credit will cut welfare costs, prevent fraud, errors and discrepancies by creating a streamlined system where one payment replaces the current mix of benefits.

There have been problems with the introduction of Universal Credit. In some cases there have been delays in payments being made that has resulted in claimants struggling to paying priority bills such as rent, council tax and for essentials, for example food.

People can have difficulty in claiming Universal Credit this includes worries on ICT access, use and skills.

Adjusting to the Universal Credit system can cause people problems (especially the most vulnerable) with one area of particular concern being changing to monthly budget management where people and families have previously been used to a weekly or fortnightly payment period.

Due to ongoing problems with the introduction of Universal Credit the government has announced / introduced a number of changes.

See below for further information on Universal Credit (UC)