A new national welfare benefit which will eventually replace Jobseeker’s Allowance and other benefits is starting in Peterborough as part of a government roll-out.
New claimants will begin receiving Universal Credit (UC) from Monday which replaces six existing benefits with one monthly payment.
Current claimants will not yet be affected by the changes, and next week’s changes will for the time being only affect individuals and not families.
However, UC will eventually replace all other benefits and be used by everyone who needs welfare.
Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said: “Universal Credit is a revolution in welfare – a system that, for the first time, supports people both in and out of work and encourages them to increase their earnings.
“By making work pay for each and every hour, Universal Credit encourages claimants to increase their earnings.”
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claims that for every 100 people who find work under the old Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) system, 113 UC claimants will have moved into a job.
The DWP has said UC helps people to get into work quicker and will financially support people who find a job as benefits are withdrawn over a period of time.
But asked if people who are out of work will receive as much money as those currently on JSA, a spokesman said payment depends on an individual’s circumstance, although he added that nobody on working tax credits will lose out.
UC claims will only be able to be made online, but this can be done at a jobcentre if required.
UC is now in three-quarters of all jobcentres across the country and will eventually replace; JSA, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.