Welfare Changes – The Introduction to Universal Credit

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Universal Credit goes live in Northern Ireland on the 27th September 2017 and will be rolled out in Belfast in June 2018 for new claimants with other benefits claimant either being natural migrated over due to change in circumstance or being managed migrated over from July 2019 to March 2022. Universal Credit is for working aged people on a low income or out of work. Universal Credit can be paid fortnightly or monthly.

Universal Credit will replace a number of existing benefits including; income support, income related jobseekers allowance, child and working tax credits, income related employment support allowance and housing benefit.

It is important that everyone who will be affected by the new welfare changes prepares for the Universal Credit online application and finds out in advance the measures, they need to take to ensure they are universal credit ready.
As part of the Universal Credit claiming process it is important to have an email address, photographic identification as well as details on income, savings, tenancy agreements and a bank account in place, as this information will form part of your application.

Universal Credit will ask all claimants to sign up to the Claimant Commitment and it is vital that claimants understand what this means for them, and how can they ensure they meet this commitment in order to maintain benefit.

All Universal Credits claimants need to make and maintain their claims online.

North Belfast Advice Partnership will be delivering a number of Universal Credit workshops to help people prepare for the changeover and to ensure they are ready for their online application.

To book a place on a workshop please telephone Ligoniel Improvement Association 028 90391225.

Workshops Timetable

Date – Time – Location
Friday 13th October 2017 11am –1pm The Vine Centre, 193 Crumlin Road, Belfast.

Thursday 19th October 2017 10.30am -12.30pm Small Wonders Centre 17 Morpeth St, Belfast BT13 2HZ

Wednesday 8th November 2017 10.30am-12.30pm Northside Family Support Programme, 183 Antrim Road, Belfast. BT15 2GW

Friday 10th November 2017 10.30am -12.30pm The HUBB, 30 St Aubyn Street, Belfast BT15 3QF

Friday 17th November 2017 10am -12pm Ligoniel Improvement Association, 148 Ligoniel Road. Belfast.


The Workshop will cover the following areas of Universal Credit:

How to prepare for UC claim

UC online application

Online account and journal


Housing impact


Reporting changes

Safeguarding vulnerable adults


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