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Universal Credit

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The introduction of Universal Credit From October 2013, Universal Credit will be available for new claimants, replacing means tested benefits such as income-related Job Seeker’s Allowance, income-related ESA, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. Existing claimants for those benefits will be migrated over to Universal Credit between 2014 and 2017.

Put simply, Universal Credit brings together all major means tested benefits for working age people, except for Council Tax rebates. There is to be a basic allowance, plus additional amounts for children, those affected by disability, those with housing needs and those who are carers. It has been said that claimants will not see a reduction in their benefit income as a result of the migration, but some may find that their entitlement is frozen until the entitlements of comparatively new claimants have caught up.