From 17 October people living in large parts of Worcester making a claim for the first time for Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income related Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support, will instead be asked to apply for Universal Credit.
People already claiming any of the six benefits who have a change in their circumstances will have to switch to Universal Credit instead.
A change of circumstances can include:
- You change your address
- You become pregnant or have a child (but still have fewer than three children)
- You start work
- Your extended period of sickness ends and you are still unable to work
- You separate from your partner who was in a joint claim with you
- You are claiming Income Support and leave full-time education
If you want to see if you may be affected then you can use this eligibility checker (please note South Worcestershire Revenues and Benefits Service is not responsible for the content of external sites).
The Money Advice Service website also contains lots of information about what will change when you move from one of the six benefits to Universal Credit.
Anyone claiming any of the six benefits who does not have a change in circumstances will continue to do so in the short-term.
The Government plans to move everyone claiming the six benefits on to Universal Credit between July 2019 and March 2023. You do not need to do anything until you hear from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), unless your circumstances change.
You are exempt from Universal Credit if:
- You are single and have reached pensionable age
- You are in a couple and both of you have reached pensionable age
- You have the Severe Disablement Premium (SDP) within any legacy benefit (ESA, IS, JSA or Housing Benefit at your previous address)
- You are in council-placed emergency housing or certain types of exempt or specified accommodation (If you are receiving more than 'minimal care', support or supervision from your landlord or from someone on their behalf).