Universal credit: Benefits start move to monthly payments
A massive shake-up in the UK benefits system has begun, with the first claims made for new universal credit payments. Universal credit will merge several benefits and tax credits into one monthly payout. It begins with a very small number of new claimants in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, but will eventually affect nearly eight million people
Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said the new system was about “changing people .The benefit is for working age people looking for work, and will replace income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit, and housing benefit
April 2013: First claims taken in Ashton-under-Lyne
July 2013: Delayed pilot schemes start in Warrington, Wigan and Oldham
October 2013: New claimants nationally move to universal credit
Spring 2014: Current claimants start shift from existing benefits to the new payment
2017: Switch is completed.