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Universal Credit

Department for Communities

Universal Credit will be introduced in Northern Ireland from September 2017 under the Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Act 2015. Universal Credit is a new payment for working age people who are on low income or out of work. To get Universal Credit you must be aged 18 or over and be under State Pension age.

Universal Credit is a new payment that when introduced, will support you if you are on a low income or out of work. It will give you the help you need to prepare for work, start work or earn more money.

To be eligible for Universal Credit you must be aged 18 or over and be under State Pension age. It will include support for the cost of housing, and when a claimant is in employment, it will also assist with childcare costs as well as providing financial support for disabled people, carers and people who are too ill to work.

What benefits are being replaced by Universal Credit?

The benefits that will be replaced are:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit (Rental)

A new Department of Finance Rate Rebate Scheme will provide rates support for tenants or home owners who are entitled to Universal Credit.

The following benefits will not be replaced by Universal Credit and will continue:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (Contribution- based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Contribution- based)
  • Child Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

Disability Living Allowance is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment.

How will Universal Credit be introduced?

Universal Credit will be introduced for new claims, on a phased geographical basis from 25th September 2017 until September 2018.  As it reaches the respective geographical areas, people living in those areas will be able to make a new claim for Universal Credit instead of having to submit multiple claims for the benefits that it is replacing.

For further information on Universal Credit please click on the following links:

Updated:  October 2017

This webpage is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep it up-to-date, errors may occur.  It is very important that you check with the relevant body to ensure the information is current and is applicable to your situation.

If you would like to suggest amendments or highlight new information that could be useful to others please don’t hesitate to get in touch.