Universal Credit expansion plans

09 May 2014

The expansion of the full Universal Credit benefit to the rest of the north west of England will start in June.

Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, set out plans for the next steps of Universal Credit – marking the first anniversary of the full new benefit becoming available.

Universal Credit has a number of elements which have already been rolled out across the country, including a claimant commitment, where jobseekers agree:

  • what they will do to find work
  • an expectation that jobseekers search for work 35 hours a week
  • more equipment for jobseekers to search for work online
  • a transformation in the relationship between claimants and their jobcentre adviser to focus their search for work.

On top of that, claimants in 10 parts of the country are also benefiting from the better work incentives of the full benefit. This ensures work pays, allows them to move in and out of work more smoothly, and gives jobcentres instant access to HMRC earnings data so they can make sure people are receiving the right amount of benefit.

In a step change, from June more jobcentres across the north west of England will gradually come online each week until the whole region is covered. In total 90 jobcentres, or 1 in 8 jobcentres in Britain, will offer the full Universal Credit once the north west expansion is completed.

During the summer the new benefit will also be made available for new claims from couples in a number of jobcentres that already deliver the full Universal Credit, expanding to all the current live sites over time.

Read the full press release.

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