Universal Credit is a new benefit which is replacing means-tested social security benefits and tax credits for working age individuals and families.
The pages of this website provide a comprehensive overview of Universal Credit - together with commentary and tools to ensure any problems the introduction of Universal Credit is causing are kept to a minimum.
The government's aim is to streamline the benefits system making it easier to understand, improve work incentives, make it easier for claimant's to move in and out of work, tackle poverty amongst low income families, encourage responsibilty, and reduce the scope for error and fraud.
Universal Credit was first introduced in 2013 for a limited group of claimants on certain areas in the GB. It is now 'live' across the whole of GB - still to a limited group of claimants.
But the 'Digital' or what the DWP call the 'full' service is slowly rolling out across GB between 2016 and 2018 with no additional restrictions - or what are called the gateway conditions - on who can claim.
So there is currently a 'twin-track' approach with new claims from certain claimants who meet the 'Gateway Conditions' in their area claiming Universal Credit on an IT system developed prior to 2013. And others able to claim on the 'Digital' system as it rolls out across GB.
And from late 2019 it is expected that 'migration' will start ie where it's not just new claimants that can get Universal Credit - but existing 'legacy' benefit claimants get moved onto Universal Credit by the DWP.
Full 'roll-out' is expected to have been achieved during 2022.