Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for unemployed people or people on low incomes. It will be introduced in Northern Ireland in late 2017 as a replacement for several other benefits. The aim is to unify and simplify the money that people receive. Visit the NI Direct website for more information.
Who will receive Universal Credit?
If you are receiving or have received benefits, you may be eligible for Universal Credit. If the benefits or credits that you are receiving are due to be replaced by Universal Credit, you will be contacted with more information.
How to claim
Once launched, you'll be able to make a new claim for Universal Credit online.
Universal Credit will be paid twice a month into your bank account, unless requested otherwise. If you are renting, a portion of this payment will go directly to the landlord of your property.
Universal Credit will launch between September 2017 and September 2018, depending on your region. You can find the launch dates on the NI Direct website.
Can I work while claiming?
Your eligibility for Universal Credit will vary depending on your circumstances, but there are no limits on how many hours a week you can work while claiming. As you earn more your payments will gradually decrease, meaning you will not lose all your benefits at once.
Who can help?
The RAF Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) has a strong tradition of looking after the RAF Family in the UK and overseas. They support all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children. Their Advice and Advocacy service offers expert advice on benefits and help with claiming support you are entitled to. Visit the RAFBF website for more information.
The Royal British Legion offers a benefits, debt and money advice service that can provide more information about Universal Credit and how it may affect your circumstances.
Seafarers' Advice and Information Line (SAIL) is the only Citizens Advice dedicated to Naval Service Veterans. They provide expert telephone and email advice about benefits, including Universal Credit. Visit their website for more information.