Universal credit: Who can claim Universal credit

Universal Credit is being rolled out gradually. Two systems are currently running side by side – a live service system and a full service system. The live service closed to brand new claims from 1 January 2018. This part of the website explains in detail who can currently claim UC, the impact of the changes on claims for tax credits and the rules that apply in each area. The first five sections explain the rules for Great Britain and the final section explains the roll-out in Northern Ireland.

Roll-out timetable (GB)
This page explains how UC is rolling out in Great Britain and includes links to our UC postcode tool.

Current eligibility to claim
This page explains who is currently eligible to claim UC and how to work out if someone is in a live service or full service area.

Full service
This page explains in detail what the digital service is, gives links to the relevant legislation, explains the impact on tax credit claims of digital service and outlines the main rule differences between digital and live service areas.

Live service
This page explains live service in detail and explains the impact on tax credit claims in live service areas.

Moving areas 
This page explains what happens to claimants who move areas (including between digital areas and live service areas).

Tax credits and UC
This section brings together information about the impact of UC roll-out on claims for tax credits. It explains when people may have a choice between the two and also looks at the possibility of moving back to tax credits from UC.

Northern Ireland
This page explains the roll-out plans of UC in Northern Ireland and includes details of how UC is different in NI compared to GB.

Last reviewed/updated 31 May 2018