Who can claim Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit for low income working-age people who are either in or out of work. It does not affect people of pension age.

Universal Credit Full Service is now being rolled out to new claimants in Royal Greenwich.

It began in:

  • July 2018 for residents in postcodes covered by Forest Hill Jobcentre (SE8 and SE13) and Bromley Jobcentre (BR7 6); and
  • October 2018 for residents in postcodes covered by Woolwich or Bexleyheath Jobcentre Plus Office.

From those dates, UC replaces new claims for the following means-tested 'legacy' benefits for people of working-age:

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

If you are already receiving one or more of these benefits, you won't move onto Universal Credit until you have a change of circumstances which requires a new claim or until you are moved over under the government’s 'managed migration' process. This has already been put back several times and was due to take place between July 2019 and December 2023. However, the government has announced that initially only a limited number of claimants (10,000 nationally) will be migrated to UC as part of a pilot scheme that will begin in July 2019. The government will use the pilot as a learning exercise to determine if the process is working as intended and use the findings to inform its plans for future managed migration. 

Families with more than two children

Families with more than two children cannot make new claims for Universal Credit until 1st February 2019 and must claim ‘legacy benefits’ in the interim. New claims made on or after 1st February will have to be for Universal Credit.

Note that some families may not be better off on Universal Credit. If you’re not already receiving tax credits or another legacy benefit, it’s worth checking if you may be missing out and making a claim. But remember that you must do this before 1st February.  

Legacy claimants receiving severe disability premium

Existing legacy claimants cannot claim Universal Credit from 16th January 2019 even if they have a change of circumstances which would normally trigger a UC claim. The exemption applies to claimants who are receiving legacy benefits (other than tax credits) and their award includes a severe disability premium,

Eligible claimants can remain on their existing benefits and/or make claims for other legacy benefits as well.

The DWP will carry out checks to identify claimants who were receiving the severe disability premium and have already switched to Universal Credit. Qualifying claimants who have lost out will receive a lump sum to cover the period since they moved to Universal Credit and an ongoing monthly payment.