News

Universal Credit to be rolled out here in May

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

THE implementation of Universal Credit is set to commence in Newry on May 16 this year.

The announcement has come after the Department for Communities reviewed and updated the roll-out schedule for the new payment in Northern Ireland.

As a result, the roll-out phase which was due to complete in September 2018 will now be extended to December 2018.

The changes have been made following the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement in the 2017 Autumn budget of a package of measures aimed at ensuring Universal Credit claimants receive either more or earlier access to payments.

In order to deliver this additional work, the Department for Work and Pensions have extended the national roll out of new claims to Universal Credit to December 2018.

Universal Credit replaces Jobseeker's Allowance (income based), Employment Support Allowance (income-related), Income Support, Housing Benefit (rental), Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits for people aged over 18 and under state pension age.

The Department for Communities have advised that the phased approach to implementation will help to ensure that the Universal Credit service is working as anticipated and that claimants are coping with the move to a digital service.

The new payment will also become operational in Downpatrick on May 16, and in Kilkeel on May 30. New claimants will be the first to claim Universal Credit in each roll-out area.

Existing claimants will transfer to Universal Credit between July 2019 and March 2022. Some claimants will naturally move to Universal Credit earlier, where their circumstances have changed.

Further information on Universal Credit and the roll-out schedule is available at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/universalcredit

If you are concerned at how Universal Credit will affect you or your family, The Newry Democrat would like to hear from you.

Please feel to contact us on 02830 251 250, the Newry Democrat on facebook, on twitter @NewryDemo or e-mail colin.oneill@newrydemocrat.com

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