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Universal credit is a single monthly payment for people of working age that replaces six existing benefits.
It is paid monthly in arrears to people aged 16 and over who are in employment, or who are out of work and looking for a job.
Universal Credit aims to make the welfare system simpler by replacing six benefits, and credits with a single monthly payment if you are on a low income or out of work.
It includes support for the costs of housing, children and childcare, as well as support for disabled people and carers.
What ever you take home and receive such as pay increases, Universal Credit will gradually reduce, meaning that your benefits don't end immediately if you are on a low income.
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Whether you can claim it will be depend on where you live and your personal circumstances. So far, in Preston, Universal Credit only applies to a small number of people.
You can check if you can get Universal Credit by going to the GOV.UK Universal Credit pages or talk to someone at your jobcentre.
You can make your Universal Credit claim online only at Gov.UK.
If you do not have a computer at home, you can use the computers at your local Jobcentre or library.
If you need more help, you can get face-to-face and telephone advice to help you make a claim. You will be invited to an interview with your work coach to sign a Claimant Commitment. This sets out the responsibilities you have accepted in return for getting Universal Credit.
If you are not eligible for Universal Credit now, you may still be able to claim other benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance.
If you are already claiming benefits you will not be able to claim Universal Credit yet. You will carry on claiming your benefits as usual.
Your work coach at the Jobcentre will make sure you have the right help to get online, manage your money and find work.
You can get advice online about getting ready for Universal Credit through the Gov.UK website. Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice provide additional help and support on Universal Credit.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.