Half of people moving to Universal Credit will be £220 better off

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Some 2.6 million people on legacy benefits such as Tax Credits, Housing Benefit. Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will be sent a ‘Migration Notice’ over the next two years. This will inform them they must make a claim for Universal Credit within three months from the date on the letter. People can ask to move sooner, however only half of them will be better off the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed.

Universal Credit was first introduced by the DWP in 2013 to streamline the British benefits system.

It replaces six old style legacy benefits: Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

This year the DWP began moving around 2.6 million Britons who still receive legacy benefits and tax credits to the Universal Credit system – a process which could take until 2024 to complete.

Although not everyone will be better off, DWP minister David Rutley said: “The vast and on majority an average 55 percent of claimants will be £220 better off on Universal Credit.”

Britons can use the benefits calculator on Gov.UK to see if they would actually be better off on Universal Credit. They will need details of:

  • Income – including any earnings or benefits
  • Rent and living costs
  • Savings and investments.

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While some people will be better off moving to the new benefits system, not everyone will be.

Who will be worse off on Universal Credit?

  • ESA claimants: 500,000
  • Tax Credits (Working and Child) claimants: 300,000
  • Total, including other legacy benefits: 900,000.

Meanwhile, people on Universal Credit and other DWP benefits may be able to claim 30 freebies including help towards school uniform. 

They may also get reduced council tax bills, capped water bills and half price bus and discounted rail fares.

Britons looking for work can sometimes apply for free or discounted gym membership and help with new job costs.

Additionally, they could qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, giving them £140 off fuel bills.

Universal Credit claimats may also get:

  • £25 in Cold Weather Payments
  • Free or cheap broadband from TalkTalk, Virgin Media and BT
  • Cheap BT phone calls
  • Free prescriptions for people with zero income or those on a low income
  • Free dental treatment
  • Eye tests and discounted glasses
  • Free school transport
  • Free school meals
  • Discounted childcare costs
  • £150 towards school uniforms – dependent on the local authority
  • £1,200 free cash as part of the Government’s Help to Save scheme
  • Food vouchers for kids as part of the Healthy Start scheme
  • Maternity grant up to £1,000
  • Disabled Facilities Grant (up to £30,000) to make changes to a home
  • Homeowners can apply for up to £10,000 to pay for a boiler
  • Homeowners can get help to pay for double glazing as part of the Green Homes Scheme
  • Up to £300 in Winter Fuel Payments
  • Free wigs or fabric support provided by the NHS
  • Free health travel costs
  • Help with housing costs
  • Help with funeral costs
  • Bereavement support payments
  • Reduced court fees.

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