Department for Work and Pensions

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Policy


Updated 10 December 2012

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income.

Universal Credit will help claimants and their families to become more independent and will simplify the benefits system by bringing together a range of working-age benefits into a single streamlined payment. The new Universal Credit system aims to:

It will be launched in 2013 and will replace:

Latest on Universal Credit

What’s different about Universal Credit?

The main differences between Universal Credit and the current welfare system are:

What's happening to other benefits?

The following benefits are changing:

Other benefits will continue.

When does Universal Credit start?

April 2013 – launch of Universal Credit pathfinder

Starting in April 2013, DWP, with our delivery partners in HMRC and local authorities, will introduce Universal Credit to claimants within certain areas of the North-West of England. This “pathfinder” stage will help us ensure that Universal Credit is ready to go live across the rest of the country later in 2013.

October 2013 – national launch of Universal Credit

New claimants: They will be able to make claims for Universal Credit from October 2013, while claims for existing benefits and credits will be gradually phased out. From April 2014, all new claims will be for Universal Credit.

Existing claimants: They will move onto Universal Credit in line with a phased approach that we expect to have completed by the end of 2017

This phased process will be completed in 2017 and we will continue to provide information on this, as it becomes available.

Frequently asked questions

Universal Credit evaluation framework

More information