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Welfare benefits news

The latest welfare rights service news.


Universal Credit ‘full service’ applies across Derbyshire from 21 November 2018

The ‘roll out’ of the full service of Universal Credit in Derbyshire will be complete on 21 November 2018 when it extends to people in the DE11 post code area.

However, not everyone will be affected by Universal Credit. It replaces six benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit (referred to as ‘legacy benefits’)

It does not replace any other benefits.

Llike these benefits, Universal Credit is means-tested and you will only get it if your income and savings fit the UC rules.

Uou can claim Universal Credit if you are out of work, too ill to work, an unpaid carer, a part-time worker or a full-time worker

It’s still possible to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) that you have earned through your National Insurance record, even in a full service area. You can also claim Universal Credit if you have not got enough money to live on, but you can claim ‘new style’ JSA or ESA without Universal Credit also.

You will have to claim Universal Credit if you are making a brand new claim for what would have been a legacy benefit.

If you have an existing claim for legacy benefits, you will only have to claim Universal Credit if your circumstances change to the extent that you would have had to make a new benefit claim under the old system (e.g. you are out of work but you then get a full-time job).

If you have three children or more, it is not usually possible to claim UC and you can still claim legacy benefits. This applies until 1 February 2019.

If you claim UC, it will take over all of your ‘legacy’ benefits. For example, if you are unemployed and you rent your home, you will have to claim Universal Credit instead of Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Universal Credit will also take over from Housing Benefit (but not Council Tax Support – claim this separately).

Things to know about Universal Credit:

  • Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for you, and your partner and children
  • you may have to wait up to five weeks for your first payment – you can request ‘advance payments’ of UC while you are waiting, but these are repayable
  • you will have to claim Universal Credit online, and your claim will be maintained online too. If you do not have access to a computer or you don’t have computer skills, seek advice as there is help available

Existing legacy benefit claims will be moved over to Universal Credit from 2019 to 2020 through a process called ‘managed migration’. This process will take up to four years to complete, and we will publish more details when they are available.

Find out more about Universal Credit and how it works.

For information and advice, email: welfarebenefits@derbyshire.gov.uk or tel: 01629 531535 from 11am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.