Universal Credit becomes available to all types of claimant in Harrogate, Richmond (North Yorkshire), Inverness, Hammersmith and Ryedale.
Universal Credit is already offered to all single jobseekers in these areas and is now replacing 6 benefits with one monthly payment. People who would previously have made a claim to income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, working and child tax credits and Housing Benefit will now instead claim Universal Credit.
The new service is simplifying the system and revolutionising welfare by making work pay and helping those who are in work to increase their hours and earnings.
Families on Universal Credit who move into work can claim back up to 85% of their eligible childcare costs, boosting their finances by over £13,000 a year.
Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said:
"Universal Credit is transforming lives and is central to our vision of a society where anyone, regardless of their background, can get on in life and reach their potential.
"Universal Credit simplifies the system and is much more flexible, enabling claimants who may have been out of a job for a while to take on small amounts of work to build up their skills and confidence.
"Today sees the next step in revolutionising welfare, by expanding Universal Credit to make it available to the full range of claimants, and bringing the additional support it offers to those facing barriers to work, like childcare costs and disability."
All types of claimants in those areas will now be able to benefit from the improved, personalised, one-to-one support that Universal Credit can offer them.
Those on Universal Credit will now have 24 hour access to a simple online account that they can use to manage their claim, including reporting changes of circumstances, checking the details of their claim and date of their next Universal Credit payment.
With the application process now completely online, Universal Credit streamlines the system, making it simpler to navigate and easier to understand.
Universal Credit replaces 6 benefits with a single monthly payment to a household:
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credits
- Housing Benefit