Universal Credit is being introduced gradually across the country as part of the government’s welfare reforms.

It will only affect a few people at first, but the new single benefit will eventually replace several unemployment and low-income benefits and tax credits with a single monthly payment.
It is designed to make it easier to take temporary or part-time work while claiming.

Who is affected now?
From 16 March 2015, single jobseekers in Southampton, making a new benefit claim, may be required to apply for Universal Credit. 
This will be if:

  • You are making a new claim for a relevant benefit. At the moment this is Jobseekers Allowance. (You are not affected at the moment if you already get Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, or Child Tax Credit).
  • You are aged 18 to 60 (+6 months)
  • You do not have children or other dependents, or are pregnant.
  • You do not have a disability or long-term illness.

More information on Universal Credit is available from

What is different about Universal Credit?
Universal Credit will be paid in a different way to current benefits:

  • It will be a single, monthly payment into a bank, building society or Post Office account.
  • It will be paid in arrears.
  • New claimants should receive their first payment around 5 weeks after the date the claim is made. This is made up of an assessment period of one calendar month and 7 days to process the claim.
  • If you get help with your rent, this will be included in your monthly payment – you’ll then pay your landlord yourself.

How to make a claim for Universal Credit