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Universal Credit - an introduction

Universal Credit is a new type of financial support for people of working age who are looking for work or on a low income. It was introduced in Southampton on 22 February 2017. Read this guidance to find out more about Universal Credit, how it might affect you and how to claim. You can also find out more by visiting Southampton City Council's Universal Credit pages.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new simpler, single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now.

Universal Credit will replace:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

How is Universal Credit different?

Universal Credit will be a single, monthly payment into a bank account.

Universal Credit will be paid in a different way to current benefits:

  • It will be paid monthly into an account you choose
  • If you get help with your rent, this will be included in your monthly payment – you’ll then pay your landlord yourself
  • If you and your partner are both eligible, you will get one monthly payment for the household

Can I manage my Universal Credit claim online?

Universal Credit will generally be managed online. You make your claim online, then check on your payments and updates through your online account.

Working and claiming Universal Credit

There are no limits on how many hours a week you can work if you’re claiming Universal Credit. Instead, the amount you’ll get will gradually reduce as you earn more, so you won’t lose all your benefits at once.

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