Flexible Universal Credit eligibility extended across Scotland

Jeane Freeman

The Scottish Government has extended its flexible Universal Credit options to all recipients in full service areas to help more people manage their money.

Recipients of the full Universal Credit service across Scotland are now able to choose if they want to be paid twice monthly and they will also have the option to have the housing element of their Universal Credit award paid directly to their landlords.

The extension follows the introduction of Universal Credit Scottish choices in October for people making new Universal Credit claims in full service areas.

Since then, 5,800 new applicants to Universal Credit were offered one or both of the Universal Credit Scottish choices. Of those 2,100 requested to be paid twice monthly, 1,000 elected to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to their landlords and of that number 520 chose both.

Social security minister Jeane Freeman said: “With Universal Credit Scottish choices we are doing what we can with the limited powers available to us. This extension will allow more people to have greater control over their household budget. However, this offering in no way fixes many of the problems with the Universal Credit roll-out.

“The sooner that comprehensive welfare powers are in the hands of the Scottish Parliament the better, because that will mean that we are able to make decisions that are in the interest of Scotland and the people we serve.”

Universal Credit Scottish choices is available in full service areas which currently includes East Lothian, East Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Clackmannanshire, Stirling, East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Angus, Dundee, North Ayrshire, Fife and Highland.

For roll-out dates for full service in the remaining 19 Scottish local authority areas, please see the Jobcentre plus website.