Universal Credit

Universal Credit will replace many existing benefits and provide both in and out of work support for working-age claimants.

Universal Credit is the biggest change in the welfare system in a generation and will have a huge impact on housing associations and their tenants.

Influencing the design and implementation of Universal Credit is therefore a priority for the Federation. We are:

  • working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to influence the design of the new system
  • collecting evidence of the impact on tenants and housing associations.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit aims to:

  • simplify the benefits system by replacing six existing benefits into a single monthly payment
  • increase work incentives for those who are unemployed or working part-time.

For more information on how Universal Credit works, see the DWP's Universal Credit frequently asked questions. The DWP has also produced information on what Universal Credit means for landlords and a guide for UC claimants with housing costs.

You can also sign up to our Universal Credit e-newsletter to keep in touch with the latest developments.

Roll-out timetable

​Universal Credit is being rolled out in phases.

Date Implementation activity
April 2013 Universal Credit started in the four Pathfinder authorities with single jobseekers: Tameside, Warrington, Oldham and Wigan.
Oct 2013 - Mar 2014 Extended coverage of Universal Credit rolled out, staged across Great Britain. Roll-out will expand next to six hub jobcentres – Hammersmith, Rugby, Inverness, Harrogate, Bath and Shotton.
Jun - Dec 2014  Wider roll-out to all local authorities in the North West, to allow applications from single and couple claimants.
Nov 2014 Testing of the new digital system begins in Sutton.
Feb 2015 - Apr 2016 

National roll-out of Universal Credit commences, restricted to new claims from single jobseekers.

May 2016 - Sep 2018 Full service rolls out across the country (view the roll-out schedule). Covers new claims and existing claims where there is a change of circumstances. 
Late 2018 - onwards Transfer of legacy benefit claims including housing benefit, JSA and income support.