Transition to Universal Credit

Universal credit (UC) full service has now rolled out across the UK. Most people can no longer make brand new claims for tax credits and other benefits that UC replaces, however there are some exceptions to this.

Existing tax credit claimants are currently unaffected by the roll-out of UC unless they choose to make a UC claim, have a change of circumstances that ends their tax credit claim, or they need to make a new claim for another benefit that UC has replaced (such as housing benefit).

This section of the website explains who can claim UC including how it affects existing tax credit claimants, gives an overview of the entitlement rules of UC and links to helpful UC guidance and leaflets.

Latest updates

New regulations (6 February 2019): Free School Lunches and Milk (Universal Credit) (Wales) Order 2019 (SI.No.187/2019) - New regulations issued that amend the eligibility criteria for free school meals in Wales from 1 April 2019 >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (1 February 2019): Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No.32 and Savings and Transitional Provisions) Order 2019 (SI.No.167/2019) - New regulations issued in Great Britain in relation to the abolition of child tax credit and working tax credit from 1 February 2019. Equivalent changes made in Northern Ireland by the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (Commencement No.14 and Savings and Transitional Provisions) Order 2019 (SR.No.7/2019) >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (15 January 2019): Universal Credit (Restriction on Amounts for Children and Qualifying Young Persons) (Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2019 (SR.No.3/2019) - New regulations issued in Northern Ireland in relation to the two-child limit in universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (15 January 2019): Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (SDP Gateway) Amendment Regulations 2019 (SI.No.10/2019) - New regulations issued that introduce a gateway condition into universal credit preventing claimants with a severe disability premium in a legacy benefit from making a claim. Equivalent changes made in Northern Ireland by the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (SDP Gateway) Amendment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2019 (SR.No.2/2019) >> More universal credit legislation

New High Court judgment (11 January 2019): R (on the application of Johnson and others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] EWHC 23 (Admin) (11 January 2019) - High Court rules that DWP's method of assessing earned income under universal credit is unlawful >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (11 January 2019): Universal Credit (Restriction on Amounts for Children and Qualifying Young Persons) (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Regulations 2019 (SI.No.27/2019) - New regulations that provide for amendments to the two-child limit in universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (7 January 2019): Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Housing Costs (Executive Determinations) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018 (SR.No.209/2018) - Provides for an increase in local housing allowance rates in designated areas when calculating housing benefit and universal credit costs in 2019/20 >> More about universal credit in Northern Ireland

New Upper Tribunal decision (7 January 2019): CTC/1276/2018 - A tax credits case that considers the transition from tax credits to UC and whether the decision to end a CTC claim by HMRC (following a stop notice from DWP) is correct when a claimant had made a claim for UC by mistake and never received an award >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (7 January 2019): CUC/50/2018 and CUC/51/2018 - The decision contains a comparison of the grounds for recovery of an overpayment in social security benefits generally and UC >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (12 December 2018): Rent Officers (Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Functions) (Amendment) Order 2018 (SI.No.1332/2018) - Provides for specified LHA rates to be increased by 3 per cent in certain areas where higher rent increases are causing issues with affordability for private rented sector tenants who receive housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (5 November 2018): Universal Credit and Jobseeker's Allowance (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018 (SI.No.1129/2018) - Provides for changes to regulations relating to UC that reintroduce entitlement to claim housing costs towards rent for all 18 to 21 year old claimants, and extension of kinship carer support under the two child policy. Equivalent changes have been made in Northern Ireland by Universal Credit and Jobseeker's Allowance (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018 (SR.No.187/2018) >> More universal credit legislation

New Upper Tribunal decision (5 September 2018): CUC/1974/2017 - Failure by a First-tier Tribunal to exercise its enabling and inquisitorial jurisdiction amounts to an error of law >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (26 July 2018): CUC/1067/2018 - The judge makes two points. First, without deciding the issue, it is inherent in the nature of a notification that can lead to a sanction for failure to comply that it does not take effect unless and until it is received. Second, he decides that the notion of good reason does not allow a person who was not aware of a letter of notification to be made subject to a sanction >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (20 July 2018): Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 17, 19, 22, 23 and 24 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions (Modification) (No. 2)) Order 2018 (SI.No.881/2018) - New regulations that include the part postcodes in Great Britain to which the universal credit full service will roll-out between 5 September to 12 December 2018 >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (20 July 2018): Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (Commencement No. 12 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions and Commencement No. 9, 10 and 11 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions (Amendment)) Order 2018 (SR.No.138/2018) - New regulations provide for the introduction of universal credit in specified postcode areas in Northern Ireland from 5 September to 5 December 2018 >> More about universal credit in Northern Ireland

New High Court judgment (14 June 2018): TP and AR, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2018] EWHC 1474 (Admin) (14 June 2018) - High Court rules that government's failure to protect benefit rates for severely disabled people migrating to universal credit is unlawful >> More universal credit case law