Universal Credit: When, What, Where?

Universal credit, the combining of six ‘legacy’ benefits into a singular monthly payment, is a term that has been batted around recently, with many people unsure of how it affects them, or if it will. 

There are many controversies surrounding it, with critics claiming that it puts those on the margins of society at increased risk of hunger, debt, illness, and homelessness. This is due to issues in the execution of the benefit rather than its terms, for example initially there was a 42 day wait for the initial payment which has since been shortened to 35 days with an opportunity for advances to those who cannot wait that long. This also has a knock on effect on people in private renting, with a move by landlords who previously accepted people on benefits to no longer having the confidence to do this.  

Currently, in the Bolsover post code universal credit is due to come in for new claimants, or for claimants changing their circumstances in July 2018. If your circumstances don’t change, you will not be asked to make the change until at least 2019. Check when your postcode will be changing here: https://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/. 

It is likely that under universal credit your payments may change, so be prepared for that. However, further changes are likely due to the obvious problems it retains. The chair of the work and pensions select committee is due to present a case of its (in)effectiveness, and this will not be able to be ignored although dramatic change should not be expected for some time.