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Universal Credit Intro & Rates
Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or are 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 payment.
It was introduced in October 2013 and will be rolled out nationally at a progressive rate according to HMRC. This is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and will replace:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credits
- Housing Benefit
The differences between Universal Credit and the current system
The main differences between Universal Credit and the current welfare system are:
- Universal Credit will be available to people who are in work and on a low income, as well as to those who are out of work
- Most people will apply online and manage their claim through an online account
- Universal Credit will be responsive – as people on low incomes move in and out of work, they’ll get ongoing support, giving people more incentive to work for any period of time that is available
- Most claimants on low incomes will still be paid Universal Credit when they first start a new job or increase their part-time hours
- Claimants will receive just 1 monthly payment, paid into a bank account in the same way as a monthly salary
- Support with housing costs will go direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment
Universal Credit Rates
Single claimant aged under 25: £265.31
Single claimant aged 25 or over: £334.91
Joint claimants both aged under 25: £416.45
Joint claimants either aged 25 or over: £525.72
First child or qualifying young person: £290.00(born before 6 April 2017)
Second and each subsequent child or qualifying young person: £244.58
Additional amount for disabled child or qualifying young person
Low rate: £132.89 – child in receipt of DLA mobility or care (excluding high rate care component or registered blind)
High rate: £414.88 – child in receipt of high rate care component DLA or registered blind
Capability for Work Element
Limited capability for work (LCW): £132.89
Limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA): £354.28
Caring for a severely disabled person for at least 35 hours a week: £168.71
You do not have to claim Carer’s Allowance to get the carer element.
Childcare Costs Element
85% of relevant childcare costs up to:
Maximum amount for one child – £646.35 – £646.35
Maximum amount for two or more children – £1, 108.04 – £1, 108.04
Housing Costs Element
- Eligible rent payments
- Certain service charges
- Mortgage interest.
There is a qualifying period of three months before you can be paid this element. You will not be paid a housing element if you are in paid work.
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