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Benefits

One monthly payment of benefits

The UK Government plans to introduce universal credit from October 2013. In East Renfrewshire, this will be likely to take place in 2016.

The UK Government introduced universal credit from October 2013.

However, universal credit is not likely to be introduced in East Renfrewshire until sometime in 2016.

What will universal credit replace?

It will replace six of the means-tested benefits and tax credits.

Universal credit will replace:

  • Income-based jobseeker's allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Child tax credits
  • Working tax credits
  • Housing benefit

Universal credit is intended to help people to become more independent by paying a range of working-age benefits together as one single payment.

How will I receive universal credit?

Working age people on benefits will personally receive the new "universal credit" paid monthly directly into a bank account only.  This means you will need a bank account or be a member of a credit union where your universal credit can be paid. This will include any housing benefit entitlement.  For most people this means you will be directly responsible for paying the rent on your property.

Pensioners will continue to have their housing costs paid straight to their landlord.

When will universal credit be introduced?

Universal Credit is being implemented on a rolling programme throughout Scotland during 2015 and 2016. The two Job Centres serving East Renfrewshire residents are due to come on stream for UC claims in February 2016. During the initial period only single people whose circumstances are straight forward will be allowed to claim UC. Once all job centres have adopted straight forward claims, UC will be rolled across the country on a phased basis to allow claimants with more complicated circumstances including couples and families to claim UC.

Who can I talk to to find out more about universal credit?

The Department of Works and Pensions will be responsible for the administration of universal credit. It is expected that the Department for Work and Pensions will contact people directly to let them know when they are moving to universal credit.

For further information, contact Job Centre Plus on 0845 604 3719.

For advice on how to budget or manage debts, contact East Renfrewshire Council Money Advice on 0800 052 1023 or the Citizens Advice Bureau on 0141 881 2032 or your local library on 0141 577 3306.

From 2015 you will be expected to make any new universal credit claims online at the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP). If you need help and support to get online, your local library can help. You can get

  • free access to computers and the internet
  • knowledgeable and friendly staff who can help you to use the computers
  • set-up email accounts
  • free Wi-Fi in Clarkston, Giffnock and Mearns Libraries
  • details of other local agencies who can offer you additional support.

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