What is Universal Credit?

by from money.co.uk, Last Updated: 11 November 2014

In the not too distant future the government will be rolling out a host of changes to the benefit system centred on a Universal Credit that incorporates a host of existing benefits. Here's how the plans could affect your finances.

Happy family looking at a laptop

The benefits system has been changing since April 2013.

In 2010 Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced plans to replace a number of the existing state benefit payments with a single Universal Credit.

The idea is that by doing this the government will not only cut costs by making the benefits system more efficient, but also encourage people to work if they can.

However, the introduction of Universal Credit has not been supported by all as there are widespread concerns that it will leave thousands worse off.

We look at exactly what's set to change and how Universal Credit is likely to affect your personal finances.

What are the current plans?

The main aim of Universal Credit is to simplify the welfare system by replacing a number of different state benefits with a single payment.

The payments that will be stopped and replaced by Universal Credit are:

  • Income Support
  • Income Related Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Disability Living Allowance will not be incorporated into the Universal Credit but will be replaced with Personal Independence Payments instead.

Benefits that won't be affected by the Universal Credit are:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Bereavement Benefits
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance
  • Contributory Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • War Pensions

When will Universal Credit be introduced?

The move to a Universal Credit started in April 2013.

The role out of Universal Credit will take place in 3 phases:

Phase 1: October 2013 - April 2014

From October new claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit have received Universal Credit instead of these individual benefits.

New claimants of Job Seekers Allowance were the first to receive Universal Credit payments.

During this period new claimants of Housing Benefit and Tax Credits have also been switched to Universal Credit.

Existing benefit claimants will also be transferred to Universal Credit when their circumstances change and they have to re-apply or update their details.

Phase 2: April 2014 - December 2015

Existing claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit who are still in receipt of the individual benefits (most likely because they haven't yet reported a change in their circumstances) will be moved over to Universal Credit.

Phase 3 - December 2015 - December 2017

The remaining claimants of Housing Benefit will be transferred to Universal Credit, with the final transfer process expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Other changes

There are a several other changes to the benefits system being implemented as part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

These are not strictly part of Universal Credit but could still have a big impact on your finances.

A cap on benefits

One of the main aims of Universal Credit is to "make work pay"; consequently the total amount any family can claim in benefits will be capped.

This limit will be linked to the average weekly earnings of people employed in the UK, and will initially be set at 26,000.

This could potentially mean some families see their benefits substantially reduced, especially if they have a several children.

Although the 26,000 cap was initially rejected by the House of Lords, it became law on 8th March, 2012.

However, the government are now looking into introducing regional variations to the benefits cap.

This could cushion the impact of the benefit cap for people living in expensive areas of the country (like London and the South East) but could also mean that people living in cheaper areas of the country see the amount they can claim fall further.

Personal Independence Payments

From April 2013, the government replaced the existing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults aged 16 to 64 with Personal Independence Payments.

The Personal Independence Payment is made up of two parts: a Daily Living component and a Mobility component.

Both of these elements operate on two set rates, standard and enhanced; exact amounts are yet to be announced.

To claim the Personal Independence Payment you must suffer from a condition that's expected to last at least 12 months.

In order to claim it you will need to undergo a one to one assessment of how your conditions affect your day to day life; the exception is if you have a terminal illness.

Existing DLA claimants will not automatically be transferred to Personal Independence Payments. Instead they will need to make a claim to start receiving the payment.

If you currently receive DLA but are deemed not to qualify for Personal Independence Payments when you have your assessment, your DLA will be withdrawn.

Local Housing Allowance rates

Changes in the Welfare Reform Act will see Local Housing Allowance rates increase by the Consumer Price Index rather than the more generous Retail Prices Index.

This move is likely to see the payments you'll receive grow more slowly over time compared to what you would have been paid using the old system.

Employment and Support Allowance

A 12 month limit is set to be introduced to contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims.

After 12 months, the benefit will be withdrawn and replaced in full or in part with income-related ESA.

However, the government expects that 40% of claimants are not likely to qualify for any ESA after the 12 month period, and as such the payments will be withdrawn and their net income will fall by 36 per week.


Thank you for this easy-to-follow Coalition-thieving-from-the-poor-and-vulnerable explanation of the Universal Credit.

by kattypuss, 20 Sep 2012

This lousy government is forcing the poorest into a Dickensian nightmare. How long before they re-introduce the workhouse? Oops they already did! It`s called volunteering .... but really it is forced labour for the unfortunate unemployed. Bring on the revolution.

by nncbcb, 14 Dec 2012

Too right !
We must obliterate the thatcherite-scum , and all politicians .

by nadge, 2 Mar 2013

I done a lot of reading up on this new benefit.... and I have to congratulate you as I found your page so more understanding about the changes that are going to be happening!! At present I cannot comment on whether I will be better off because i'm not sure how much I will be receiving in this new benefit and as I cannot find anything on how to work out my individual circumstances ...i'm just gonna have to sit n wait till it takes effect...:(

by jadabrat, 30 Dec 2012

Thank you Jadabrat, glad we were of help!

by Martin from money.co.uk, 31 Dec 2012

well it be just one payment or a payment every mouth

by chazy2, 8 Jan 2013

How much will u get if u have two kids and out of work

by juliewi80, 15 Jan 2013

This is very true. There are many people that are genuine claiments too, but with out doubt, many feel it's their right to be permently on benefits and have more and more children to claim more, and to those who argue life is tough on benefits, do they not understand, life is tough earning a living too... Most of us low earners struggle to make ends meet and wouldn't even consider a second or third child, simply because we know we can't afford to bring them up. Many people think children are a right and seem to forget it's a responsibility. On more than one occasion, I've heard those on benefits say 'it's not my responsibility' and I think many of them believe that they can live their lives just how they want and it's the governments responsibility to fund their choices. Well that isn't the case and I hope the new system goes some way to address this.

by jane_52, 1 May 2013

apologizes, the comment above was intended for the post below.........

by jane_52, 1 May 2013

I find it ammusing that so many have posted on here and are worried what they might get in 11 months time or more

Obviously these people have no intention of getting a job as they expect to still be claiming in 11 months time or more and are perhaps the lazy layabouts us working britons dispise

If it was down to me I would give you all a prepaid credit card each once you applied and have your money added weekly with limitations on where you can spend it, such as no cash from the hole in the wall, no fags from the fag counter at Tescos, unable to use the card in a pub or bookies, it will just be a basic card that will allow you to buy the essentials

by DrySweeper, 11 Feb 2013

these are in work benefits and support for disabled people u numpty. i work but these changes relate to wtc and ctc as well

by Krightmar, 24 Feb 2013

Some people are thick !
Hope you're never unemployed , abused and exploited , and forced to work for nothing , DrySweeper .

by nadge, 2 Mar 2013

have u never thought to think that these people are worried and need to think about their financial future, yeah hopefully a job or more hours in 11 months, but I know how bloody hard it is to get a job in the North of England so the so called 'these people' are just consu=idering their future, it's not as if they worrying about a Hawian holiday this is about basics and people living without the basics. How the hell can someone afford to live at present on £70.00per week JSA, let alone taking that away

by talbo, 22 Mar 2013

i work as a nurse and am not left with £30 a week thinking of going on benifits as i would be better off and wont be theatend every day of my life because we now live in the hang the nurse eria......no name provided as i would likely lose my jobxx donald duck haha

by fairness4all, 27 Mar 2013

Some of us are also self employed or in contracted low paid full time work and can't afford cigarettes, bookies and pubs lol.

by Dorribaby, 27 Mar 2013

great comment. just go and sit outside the job centre and play spot the non-smoker==== to get benifits the gov should go into the homes and make sure the money is going to the most needy, and not paying for flat screens and booze and fags

by bluefish, 27 Mar 2013

Are you mad!....paying for flat screens and fags!...you obviously have been blinded by the governments propaganda
....yes i agree there are some people that really dont need to be on benefits,but, have you considered there are some people that just dont have a choice!....im on benefits, believe me i would love a normal life ,going to work and taking care of my family.
, instead i have no choice but to stay at home, i have a disabled child to take care of and if life isnt hard enough looking after him, my mother is also severley disabled and i am her carer too!...i dont lie in bed every morning while you go to work like the government would have you all believe...i work damn hard everyday, doing everything for them because they cant do it for themselves. Thats why im on benefits, so stop tarring everyone with the same brush!

by Knackered, 1 Apr 2013

its not about taring everyone with the same brush.. if you are a carer for your child your mother then you shold be in reciept of carers allowance and they shold get dvla, blus badge, even you can gat a car with allowances, your prescription are free their rent is free snd council tax , so overall your not unemployed your a carer...my dad has been a carer for my mother for many years so i understand the effects but they live comfortable thanks to the benefits that they are greatful for. they also get heating allowance when the weather is below 0 and as for the blinded by goverments propaganda, no i am not but we just cant continue giving and giving the uk is crumbling.

by bluefish, 1 Apr 2013

Universal credits also include those currently receiving tax credits, self employed people and child benefits (everyone with an income below £50k so the original statement was ignorant and many people in receipt of tax credits work full time AND can not afford flat screens and pubs so again, ignorant

by Dorribaby, 2 Apr 2013

Actually i dont get free rent or a free car or help with heating, i pay council tax too. It just annoys me that lots of people think that everyone on benefits are watching flat screen t.v's, smoking, boozing and living the high life, i for one am not, i dont smoke , drink or gamble, i dont get time off either, its a 24/7 job.i cant remember the last time i went out, and if i did go to work ,my mother and son would need to be looked after by employed carers which would cost a damn sight more than i get. Not everyone is a scrounger and some of us desperatly need the support

by Knackered, 2 Apr 2013

And deserve much more support besides.

by blatch, 2 Apr 2013

Oh and i'm not living a comfortable life either, every day is a struggle.

by Knackered, 2 Apr 2013

Obviously people are not reading the benefits included as DLA Working tax credit and carers allowance are not included in the 26,000 limit per house per year !!! I actually don't think it's gonna affect half of u people !!! Come on most people will still be better off on benefits ! The people that will suffer are the people producing kids every yr with unknown fathers or one night stands even tho they already single parent with 3-4 kids living on benefits , I've seen it so many times. These people have 4 5 6 maybe more kids even cause they know the more kids the more money !!! These kind of women will never ever work ! Do these children deserve to be born into this environment. Also the amount of men that just drink gamble and do drugs that have never worked !!! These people have nicer homes and electrical eqq in their homes than us that work cause it seems they just thieve from whoever or wherever to get what they want !!!

by wendy80, 9 Apr 2013

I totally agree, but, what i was saying was that ,not everyone on benefits is like that, but we all seem to get lumped in with the ones you have just described. It just isn't fair

by Knackered, 9 Apr 2013

I work as an engineer fitting telephone lines and day in day out i walk into poeples houses and they are getting fast internet fitted to a 50 inch smart screen tv while they play on the pc/ps4/xbox drinking beer and smoking fags, they dont need to pay for a new boiler at 3k quid when theirs breaks they just get one fitted for free by magic unlike me, i support my partner who has just given birth to our son on only 26k for the both of us we would probably earn just as much if i stopped working and i would be able to spend more time in free education, be able to volunteer work overseas when at the moment i have to take my leave to do so, maybe start a hobby that can turn into my own business that makes me happy, i would be a great benefits claimer like some here say they are but unfortunately most are not :(

by whydoiwork, 3 Apr 2014

The first sensible post Ive seen. I live in Liverpool and the local radio phone in show is completely taken over by whinging scousers trying to organise meetings in pubs and marches. Pity they dont have that sort of enthusiasm to go and find work. The usual answer is 'theres no work is there ?'

by neild60, 12 Feb 2013

Where are all the jobs , then ?
The vast majority of unemployed are looking for work .
If you want to be a clown join a circus .

by nadge, 2 Mar 2013

its more to the point what are you willing to do.. because most out of work people i know want a perfect job £300 a week ... dont we all the amount of time i here " i anit working for minimun wage" but they dont mind £70 free pounds a week.........stop making excuses and get some pride.

by bluefish, 27 Mar 2013

most of the lowly jobs have been taken where I live almeys.. so even if people wanted a job cleaning toilets there are none. when I was unemployed people kept telling me if I really wanted a job I would apply for a job in a supermarket or mc donalds, or cleaning I was told they had no vacancies.. I now work as a manager in charge of 70 staff members, and receive around 10 applications per day. and we have no vacancies. all fine wanting to complain about people getting their free £70 per week but when there are so few jobs would you prefer they starve with their children and we become like india with our poor dying in the streets. stop making excuses????

by Krightmar, 1 Apr 2013

It seems from what it says above, that only working-age people will get Universal Credit. But if pensioners are not eligible for UC does that mean their housing benefit will stop because it is clear that housing benefit will be replaced by UC so if pensioners are not eligible for UC they will all be evicted and have to sleep in the street

by FarTooOldToWork, 25 Apr 2013

Sadly unemployed worked for 40 years but I have decided at 59years I will not work for a morally bankrupt group of imbeciles I have retired myself as the govt !!! Moves the goalposts so DO me. Roll on 2015 taxi for the fags Foreign aid charity begins atHOME food banks a disgrace I am lucky worked hard for a works pension so I keep myself any means tested millionaires out there with morals no didn't think so ono for one social community piss off get real god helps those who help them themselves fuck the politicians been shafting the people for years remember the speech rivers of blood it ain't too far away xxxx

by abramovich, 16 Mar 2014

Let's hope and pray those who have worked it all out know what they're doing!

by Northern, 18 Feb 2013

They do not .

by nadge, 2 Mar 2013

i think they have got it right for once and about time, i dont get rent paided , free prescription, free dental treatment, free glasses, well nothing free so why should the jobless let them pay to then i may be able to afford my filling at £96

by bluefish, 27 Mar 2013

well i dont think you all smoke weed. drink or find work a swear word and yes its about time we changed things a little. and get my filling and i agree if the foreigners left i could cut my tax

by bluefish, 7 Apr 2013

maggier16.... no-one said the smoke weed, your words not mine chill

by bluefish, 7 Apr 2013

Do you all know that anyone who works in our country from a lot of countries in the EU that have families and children back home in there country can claim child benefit for there children back home ! Even if these children have never so much as visited our country. This is a true fact ! Bet not many of u were aware of this !!

by wendy80, 9 Apr 2013

I work for a national charity. I have to say that I think the true impact of universal credit has not yet been grasped by the 100,000's who are going to be impacted. I dont want to be a prophet of doom, but I believe there will be some major governmental backlash as people are told that work pays - but people can't find work - so they don't get paid. Central Government has cutback grants to local authorities, local authorities have cut grants to charities...where will people turn and where will it all end?

by Northern, 18 Feb 2013

I am a single working parent with 1 child at University and working/1 at College/and luckily youngest going to high school this year in time for lower government support for lower wages. working for a well known company who have frozen wages over 9 years while profits have soared I need every penny when my little car needs ever increasingly priced petrol & heating/water/rent/council tax/food/insurance are continuing to rise.
I do not smoke/drink/gamble and I do two jobs and study towards better job prospects...which seem limited with so many redundances.
My local council have admitted they haven't got a clue how the changes will affect my finances or others....and does everyone know that during the change over there will be a full ( September) where no credits/housing benefit will be paid and we have to save towards that....I am struggling now and saving is just a drop in the ocean and will not cover a month.....so very worried!

by soul100, 27 Feb 2013

Ordinary people are being robbed blind by the corrupt thatcherite-scum .
These are indeed worrying times for most of us , Soul100.

by nadge, 2 Mar 2013

They could save thousands if they just stopped legal aid for paedophiles as our government allow convicted nonses to get top barristers on legal aid !!!! Workers are paying thousands and thousands on legal aid for paedophiles murderers rapists thieves , child neglect !! I could go on and on and on

by wendy80, 9 Apr 2013

Hi...out of interest why wont these benefits be paid for a month?

by jadabrat, 27 Feb 2013

Because it saves money for the thatcherite-scum to squander elsewhere .

by nadge, 2 Mar 2013

Because the universal tax credits will be paid in deficit as in a month owing. And why do they do this? Because it saves money for the government straight away and the figures look unrealistically inflated when saying how much money the scheme is saving. And lets face it they just can as we are the poorest and in some richer peoples eyes it is our own fault at not being clever enough with money.
We need more conservative MPs living on low income for a month to see how difficult it truly is so that they can stop being so judgemental.

by soul100, 2 Mar 2013

Quite right , Soul100.
Unfortunately , the thatcherite-scum are heartless , and care nothing for the suffering , hardships, and deaths , of the disadvantaged .
The thatcherite-scum , and their toadies , such as the ATOS criminals , have blood on their hands .
They will pay for this .

by nadge, 2 Mar 2013

Anyone who voted for the criminal thatcherite - scum must question their sanity .

by nadge, 2 Mar 2013

Well we will all have a chance to get rid of all the money grabbers in 2015 general election and if they do get in again then then prepare for more cuts.

by bigpat, 31 Mar 2013

No matter which way we vote, it's for either side of the same coin. Don't forget that the previous Labour government (as well as the worldwide banks and other worldwide governments) fulfiled their role in the 'Master Plan' to create the desperate economic conditions that we, the general population / non-specific people (that is to say... us 'plebs', haha), are now having to endure. Have you noticed yet that every measure being taken is not improving the situation but actually making it worse (by design, is all that I can conclude). Consider this - ordinary people were not given the vote to select who represents us, we were given the vote as a way that we would give over our consent for them to do whatever they will to us. Now they've used the media-hype (that's nothing new) to get most people blaming and directing their anger at the vunerable, easy targets, of our society (i.e. it's the benefits-scroungers, it's the immigrants, etc) thereby deflecting the focus of most people away from the real cause of our woes.

by Eyes_Opening, 2 Apr 2013

Absolutely agree. I worked out a long time ago that it was a deliberate plan - starting with the banks calling in the loans.

by Masch, 26 Apr 2013

One problem that really worries me is that capital is not taken into account in Child Tax Credit (it is only determined by taxable income) but as I understand it it will be with Universal Credit. I took early retirement and work as a landlord and have a tiny self employment income (although the number of hours is certainly not tiny) - the child tax credit for my two children is a significant element to my income. SInce I have houses which, being managed directly and not via a company, I will be assessed on their capital value and will get no Universal Credit. I have the invidious choice to sell my houses (which are my pension fund) to provide money to replace the Credit, so cutting off the income I now receive, or to accept an even lower income than the small income I currently live on. I am sure others are in the same invidious position. The net effects of the changes to me are a reduction in income of between £200 and £300 a month.

by henryjohnfry, 5 Mar 2013

Why r they doing this to the people r working and need a little help they should be looking at people r NOT WORKING

by lynnboon22, 17 Mar 2013

Yes I think the answer is to increase the minimum wage to £10per hr for people working then there would be no need for decent working people to have to claim benefits to be able to pay for eveyday bills, housing food etc..

by talbot, 7 Apr 2013

A good idea. In fact, the only rational thing to do. But it won't happen, because those in power want cheap labour - and they don't care if that means topping people's income up from taxes which you and I have paid in over the years. Regardless of what they tell you, governments want uncontrolled immigration as well, as this ensures cheap labour. They want a laissez-faire economy - in other words, no controls, letting market forces prevail - which means that a living wage can never be achieved for all, because there is a surplus of potential workers. Indeed, little can be done anyway, because of EU rules allowing freedom of movement.

by Masch, 26 Apr 2013

I find it hard to sympathise with you henryjohnfry, if you retired early it must be assumed that you can do so without state benefits. We am struggling to make ends meet, get no help from benefits to send our children to nursery and get hit with a huge tax bill of £13,000 a year. And we are a middle income family. If I am able to work then I have to pay all my wages to child care, so it's counter productive. Why should people who don't work get the same amount or more than us for nothing in return!

by Rs12381, 20 Mar 2013

I think it makes sense to be honest, lets face it there are a good percentage of people who are thieving off the state and that means the tax payer!!! and this is not right, benefits should be for those in need, either for the sick or those who suffer a temporary blip, it should not be a way of life and looked upon as a permanent source of income for healthy able bodied people. I do not consider alcoholism, drug or food addiction as a reason to receive permanent benefits!! it is now time for this country to wake up and smell the coffee and get off their backsides and work, and stop having children they cannot afford !!!!

by taylor14, 31 Mar 2013

If Jeremy kyle or Cameron are off sick taylor14 could fill in same mindset same imbecilic banter there's nothing wrong with a free shag a free state bevy or been a tea leaf they say god helps those who help themselves you inane banal freak just one question in your sad moronic little bubble if I pay taxes save a few Bob I did not fucken do it to be means tested how many times do you want to tax me you idiot two words spring to mind sorry three you / clown /circus. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by abramovich, 16 Mar 2014

I agree that there are folk out there who could work but it comes down to the fact if immigrants weren't here folk would work coz jobs would be available get foreigners out then we can get uk back to work

by maggier16, 6 Apr 2013

Rubbish. The "foreigners" as you put it are not taking work from the British, they are the people who actually want to work, Its the British who complain about their jobs being taken but look how many of you British are work shy? In other Countries people are not out of work because they want to be, there is NO work. Stop using the immigrants as an excuse not to get off your arses and look for jobs. Most immigrants are harder working than the lazy British.

by Rhubard, 29 Apr 2013

I think that's pretty offensive to some of the British people I know who are trying to get jobs.

Do you not think your comment about .Most British people' is as stupid as those who say 'Most immigrants'?

by Feline123, 15 May 2013

I don't look for sympathy - I shall manage as my state pension comes in next year. The reasons why I ended up in Britain (I had been living abroad when I retired) have to do with looking after my elderly mother who died recently.

But I do think you should be aware that the transfer of child tax credit to benefit is a major change which could have severe consequences on some hard working people. Many families on low incomes but with only moderate resources will be forced to dip into their pension pot to survive, so increasing the burden on the state in the future. Tax credits replaced child tax allowances, and go to people who work and who earn them as of right. They were seen as a more effective way of targeting and ensuring that children do not go hungry. Now people are to be made to feel guilty for getting benefit for children, those on low working incomes are to be demonised. I cannot think that this is a good policy.

Foreigners are much more mobile than natives. They go where workers are in short supply and do jobs that natives are unwilling to do. Many Britons (like myself) have lived and worked abroad in other places where our labour is needed - if you had done that you would see it in a different light. I think our immigrants are generally a great asset to this country and I revel in this aspect of our country. Go to a monoethnic country and see how boring it is by comparison!

by henryjohnfry, 6 Apr 2013

I would expel the job stealers

by blatch, 6 Apr 2013

Where is the incentive for me I can't win for trying the government muck decent hard working people around I do everything that I'm told and am always penilised. I gave up a course tra adn to be a Teaching Asst, which could then lead to Teacher training I was positive and happy aboutmy future, Iwas also claiming JSA as I had no choice the pressure and stress to find a job was awful. I did find a job and now work 20 and a half hours a week as a Sales Assistant, I am far worse off financially I love my job but my employers have a cut off point in the ping toay calender so if I work 1st-29th of the month I am paid say from the 1st to 17th so I am always short and late with my rent and bills now, we do get the money owed for each bit we are short each month but when we leave. Why?, so that the employer can keep all the hundreds and thousands of other employees money in a high interest account and gain money on it. I was financially better off on JSA i GOT MY RENT PAID AND COUNCIL TAX PAID IN FULL, now I don't and I work I struggle, together with The new universal credit system coming into my life I am not only going to struggle with being short paid at work but am going to be thrown in with the jobseekers stress, I think it is appaling, raise the minimum wage and be done with it you heartless faschists Tory money greedy stinking rich selfish soul killing ignoranant pigs, let the hard working people of the country be free of your silly keep them under control system and raise the minimum wage pllleeaasseee

by talbot, 7 Apr 2013

I note that the government are perfectly ok with spending billions on wars in the Middle East which really just distracts attention from the fact that they're down there theiving oil which they sell the British public taxed to the hilt.
And another thing, the government have stopped all training courses and extra education subsidies to try and help unemployed people get more skills to get back to work. If people don't have the skills and no help to get them, how can they get to work........but don't worry cos they can spend money on bombing the Middle East to bits but not educating their own people. I'm not impressed at all

by Redwych, 7 Apr 2013

When are the politicians going to live in the real world and understand real peoples problems? They're all privilaged and have no idea how to live on theline. They also allow those who play the system to get away with it and penalize the honest and the needy.:(

by malade, 30 Apr 2013

i am a 72 year old pensioner.claim dla,the mobility part,what is my position,under the new benefit upheaval.

by orb1son, 1 May 2013

the tories have 2 more years to ruin this country.do the decent thingand vote these
sickos out,the posh boys will ALWAYS look after their own,THAT IS A FACT.

by orb1son, 1 May 2013

From my recent training in the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme, opinion from the trainer was that Universal Credit will take some time to roll out and is being 'tested' in certain arears of the country.

While it currently is being made public in our benefit literature, I think all instructions to even consider are on hold until the pilot proves successful.

It's a great idea I believe but what on earth will it cost to implement?

by Snoopy48, 1 May 2013

sadly there is no longer the workhouse - we cant get jobs but now i wont be entitled to ANY universal credits becasue of capital in the way of an extra house so my option is to put the kids into care- they are 8 and 11

by andrea41, 4 May 2013

Sad to say Andrea41, possession of a second property with confirmed equity is an overriding factor in benefit assessment and so it should be.

But I am aware, that as far as the award of housing benefit goes, the second property can be disregarded if it is in negative equity or retains capital below the accepted level. Also, if you rent it out and the rent merely covers the mortgage, then that again can be looked at favourably. However, with the coming welfare reforms and the way that local authorities have to work going forward, that view may change again.

by Snoopy48, 15 May 2013

the property is owned by myself and my ex and his wife and himself live there im tied to the name on the property due to the mortgage so the

'possession of a second property with confirmed equity is an overriding factor in benefit assessment and so it should be.'

as per quote -

I have tried to move my name off the morgage but cant , wish i could and put the new wife name on it but at the moment im still listed as owner -

sorry to say im thinking of doing a runner abroad with the kids where they treat people better

by andrea41, 15 May 2013

This is exactly the point I was making about the way Universal Credit has substituted a capital dependent benefit in place of an income dependent right (Child tax credits) and has effectively moved all payments right out of the tax system. It will of course produce some injustices, all such changes do. It also is taking the whole idea of National Insurance being an insurance against being thrown into misfortune which is given as of right (after all we have all paid into it) and turning it into a largesse given to the "deserving" poor. Maybe this is all we can afford. But it will produce injustices like these.
Andrea41, it is just possible that you may find that the capital in your second house may not be taken into account as it is unrealisable (it wholly depends on your ex agreeing to sell). I suspect we will only find this out when the UC system is in place. In the meantime I would write to your MP and ask him to ensure that a suitable clause is included in the regulations/advice on implementation. I have written to mine.
Meanwhile it occurs to me that the value of your share of the house may actually be quite low as it cannot be sold without evicting your husband, and he cannot sell it without your consent. So it is rather like a controlled tenancy which usually has a value of roughly 50% of the open market value. From which you deduct any outstanding mortgage - maybe it is in fact in negative equity. If you wanted to ensure this and your relations with your ex are OK, you could actually agree an assured (rather than an assured shorthold) tenancy with your ex.with your ex-husband paying you rent for your share - in affect rationalising the status quo.
Dreadful really to have to go through such contortions to get a basic living income.

by henryjohnfry, 15 May 2013

There is no value in the house whatsoever - its more like a weight around my neck wand tis the reason why im not entitled to any benefits in the first place - i have already little income coming in as it is with the current child element of the tax credit when i recive it it does just go om my rent and community charge (i pay full )
it amazes me how they will be leaving the kids with nothing - not bothered about myslef but tis the children who will suffer - my daughter is suicidal and so was i -
it comes under ;property which you own but dont live in as your main home
the community charge people were very unsympathetic and said to me <you sholdnt have bought so many houses > quote
we had only 2 and sold the one i was living in (at a loss) so now i rent

total income 456 - total rent 450
we get free school meals but i dont give them anything else for the rest of the day

by andrea41, 16 May 2013

i doubt if he will agree to a tenancy - hes already paying over 600 for the mortgage of this flipping thing -
its very complicated - i paid all my savings when we bought it towards the house

Im behind with my rent already - what will happen when we become homeless as i cant get council as i have an existing house and i cant pay rent as will have no money coming in -

its not as if we have a holidya home or anything like that its an 'extra' house thats all - of no value to me
the benefits DONT take into account the negative value in it - ive asked them they take in the whole -
tried to make a home for myslef it dint work out !! home ownership seems to be a thing that doenst benefit you in the long term as eventually its taken into consideration for all things - old people cant get any kind of care if they own their own home they have to SELL -
ive no idea where i stand with my pension eiother as its just over the horizon - by the time i reach pensionable age they will ahve changed it and i will have to do something like beg - no idea what will happen -
also - '

ive been tempted to shoplift food several times.........

by andrea41, 16 May 2013

You need local specialist advice. Logically I think the only assets you have is half the value of the house minus half the mortgage, and those assets are unrealisable if your ex-husband won't agree to sell. But I am not an expert - you need legal advice. What I would do in your situation if the local authority cannot help and there is no local Citizen's Advice provision is to turn up at your MP's surgery and pull a wobbly. The last thing he/she wants is not to have acted should some woman in your situation appeal for help and your MP will have some clout and may be able to get the local authority to act reasonably.

by henryjohnfry, 18 May 2013

where do they get the 26.000 from?

by daliwr, 15 May 2013

reading through these posts, i have noticed that many good points have been raised, yet it seems that those in power are unable or more so unwilling to see the error(s) in their thinking.to constantly keep changing benefits and polices in and of itself costs money. i can honestly say i cant really see many benefiting from the proposed changes. further,i think perhaps too much blame has been placed on certain group of people rather than the government at large. everybody is different,not everybody scams the system, whether they are ill, immigrants or even those with a lot more money-and so on. i just hope that people direct the blame where it lies.it is not fair to single out people or groups, as we're not all bad and all have different circumstances. this type of attitude in non-productive and in the end only tends to fester and cause even more problems between people. in the hard times we are facing and those ahead people need to band together.

by ms-hope, 2 Jul 2013

Hi folks . . .

First of all can I comment on how refreshing it was/is to read such heavy topic of discussion with very little if any swear words!

Now me personally - I had a mental breakdown in late 2004 and have had three more since then. When it was determined I couldn't work at that period in time I felt so guilty for NOT being able to work. The response I got from my Carer was that I had served 12 years of my life in the Armed Forces and all my dues were up to date - so I shouldn't feel guilty about it. Easy to say but not so easy to take on board (at the time that is).

Over the years since - my health has declined with the latest blow being that I have been diagnosed with COPD. It just never seems to end. Because of the breakdowns it has affected how I live and I used to be very house proud but sadly that has gone 'out the window' per se. I hold my hands up and say I feel like I am a guilty one here because just today I took receipt of a new car courtesy of MOTABILITY and will have to see how this pans out as it should 'save' me some funds as the tax and insurance are part of the package. Basically what this now allows me to do is to just try and get out more often and be grateful I have something I can now put to good use and hopefully ease the agoraphobia which adds to all the doom and gloom that spires to affect a once great nation we were.

I only heard about this Universal Credit today for the first time. But hang on here - 'Universal' - why is it called that - are they saying that this could encompass the world? Reading about the children who do not live here and their parents claiming for them one would think it must - 'Universal' some people must be taking this word literally and gaining from it at our (or for those working) your expense.

So refreshing to read such an intelligent topic with like-minded people - congratulations everyone (and I mean that from the heart) and thank you . . .


by Paws, 26 Sep 2013

I dont understand why people are saying they are being robed, Was it theirs in the first place or was it given to help? given from the govenment if they want to take it back or reform it thats thir choice its not like you earned the money and the government took it of you....(for the people not paying tax) they give it to you in the first place. there are worst places to live that dont give helping hands, thats what benifit is so stop complianing that its your right to have more free stuff and no one has the right to take it away.

by tony40, 13 Nov 2013

its like, Its not fair that man who gives me free money and stuff hasnt give me as much today someone lock him up. btw i work and claim carers allowance if my benifit stops id lean to live around it, its not like all your entitlements are stoping its being reformed.

by tony40, 13 Nov 2013

a lot of people are getting these benefits but i have 'capital ' in respect of a property with child tax credits wasnt counted but now it isnt !
I dont even live in and i dont own my own house i now live in a relatives house on the sofa accommodation and my ex owns the other house between me and him and him and his new wife live there - ive got children 7 and 11 - im not after 'free stuff' but i see people getting all the free stuff and they are having their nails done an all and i just eat the food the kids leave on their plate - i dont have a comp so thats why i havent replied to the posts - the value in the house where my ex lives with new wife is 109,000 and half half leaves me 26,000 , i have tried to take my name off the mortage and so has my ex but they wont do a NEW mortgage for him only due to circumstance -
the universal credit mean i get nothing and if i see one more woman in the council beenfit office smoking a cig
the new rules are -

if you own another property apart from the one where you live its counted as capital -

mr governments hasnt taken int consideration the fact that an owned property is not a holiday home. extra home ect - mr blairs car is worth more than that anyway !

by andrea41, 13 Nov 2013

yes Tony we ARE being robbed simples -
the fact that we have paid into a system which now isnt paying and we see people coming in from abroad and getting free stuff and all thats why people are so annoyed with this govt who should be not only looking after its owun but manufacturing more and stop building call centres in stupid places like Indian who can now afford to send a rocket to mars but cant even feed its own people -
it need to create the jobs in the first place and make stuff out of IRON ,STEEL , and things we can actually tangibally export NOT building more stupid supermarkets which provide jobs yes but make people spend more on food and pop which is now being taxed ten pence - well it should stop making the stuff if it rotts the teeth

by andrea41, 13 Nov 2013

Please,......... although this thread is interesting in sections, it really Amazes me, that some people can post there comments, and say what thay say, without, it would seem, really thinking about what they are posting, this post was about the new universal credit, and how it would incorporate some other benefits, amongst other things it talks about housing benefit, JSA or unemployment benefit, and working tax credit.
There are always going to be those who abuse the system, and some of those do not believe that they are in fact doing just that,
but likewise there are those who are in genuine need, the problem really has been the governments inaction over benefits for so long,
Until now, signing on has been an easy way of life, the rent and council tax are paid, plus you get some cash every two weeks to pay bills, buy fags, drink or whatever, and some people are happy living like that for years, sometimes, for there whole life's,
But, there's no way you can smoke, take drugs or drink regularly, on benefits, without some type of other income, it simply isn't possible,
That income could come from a job or odd jobs, or from thieving and robbery, or dealing drugs ETC.
Those people that have worked for most of there lives and suddenly need benefits are finding it harder to live on them, this could be because thay are used to living a nicer type of life and cutting back is very hard, sky, virgin, mobile phone, a car !!!!!!! Car insurance !!!!!!!..... Even a latte in There local coffee shop every day is going to cost around £20 a week. It all cost money, money, that benefits won't cover alone. And yet, there are some on benefits that have all of these things, PLUS

It is a simple fact, that for many years the only way to get your own flat, ( social housing ) was to have a kid or two, and if it was three or four or even eight, some women ( please note the some ) would willingly spend all there time making babies, instead of thinking of working, on the other hand, and in amongst that group I'm sure, are women that have just simply had the wrong type of relationship, with two or three men, and have had children by all of them, that doesn't mean that they need to be tarred with the same brush as others that seem the same, there are plenty of unfortunate people in our country, some simply cannot help themselves out of the hole that they call a life, however, there are plenty that can, but simply can't be bovvered.
And for all of those that are ripping off the system by making multiple claims, or claiming housing benefit for a house thay own, but pretend they don't , or a disability that is pure fiction,
Good luck with your life's, I hope you suffer terrible for your crime,s

by tony86, 4 Mar 2014

lots of interesting stuff there hun and some spelling mistakes - personally I take offence as i work voluntary and I do not claim benefits - my children do get the child element of chid tax credit but now that is being taken from my children - not me MY CHILDREN . most people on benefits get council tax paid for them - I DO NOT - im not classified as unemployed as Im a unreported figure of the unemployed - simply - im not counted -
Most people are annoyed as there are no jobs , we dont manufacture anymore-
In the 1930s Britains produced ONE THIRD of the worlds coal - same with cotton, steel , shipbuilding, iron and later we exported 1000s of cars every year -
we have spend 10,000 pounds on Lady Margaret Thatchers funeral - this is a Country out of its mind and out of control -

by andrea41, 4 Mar 2014

I hate struggling on benefits, but I am 60 years old with Rheumatoid Arthritis & in constant pain, though (apparently) not bad enough to claim PIPS as I can walk, but I am limited to work that does not include heavy lifting ect ie a carer, or a shop floor worker.

I used to be a well paid Sales Manager for a team of Sales Reps for over 20 years and trained them in sales and marketing skills, now I can't get an interview for telsales job on minimum wage, I apply for around 30 to 40 jobs a week in all sectors, I have had my CV scrutinised by a charity, who say the format is as it should be, but no one will give me an interview never mind a job offer. And they say age discrimination is illegal ha ha, try proving your a victim, you have no chance in the real world.

by Brythonic, 7 Apr 2014

What is Britain coming to? We want to see ourselves lucky with what we have, there are many other countries that don't have any support from the government and if that person doesn't work then they don't have anything eg: food, clothes, water etc.

by astral30, 27 Apr 2014

this country and its citizens have been robbed blind by corrupt politician scum .
and we let them do it .

by toker, 27 Apr 2014

@Astral30 - Lucky? I've paid in £58,000 National Insurance contributions in the 43 years that I worked. (adjusted for inflation that is equivalent to £158,000) I am now extremely limited as to what work I can do due to both my Rheumatoid Arthritis and my age & what do I get back for those contributions on top of the income tax that I have paid? £72 per week dole and free prescriptions! This despite still applying for 30 to 40 jobs per week.

What did our forefathers who died in the previous 2 world wars fight for? Crooked politicians of all persuasions and an even more corrupt banking sector to destroy our spirit, or were those brave soldiers just cannon fodder, subservient to evil men in grey suits calling the shots?

by Brythonic, 27 Apr 2014

Spot on mate .

by truth, 27 Apr 2014
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