Universal Credit reaches Scottish Isles

universal_creditThe national roll out of Universal Credit continued yesterday with the benefit now available to new single claimants in Kirkwall, Lerwick and Stornoway.

Universal Credit, the new benefit that will replace Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Tax Credits and Housing Benefit, was also introduced in the Scottish Borders last week.

Being introduced in stages, Universal Credit will initially only affect new benefit claimants who are single, and even then only those in certain circumstances.

Current exclusions include: couples, home owners, people not fit for work, carers, self-employed, people who are studying, those paying child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service and anyone earning more than £338 a month.

Councillor Frances Renton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for social work and housing, said: “The council and partners have been working hard over a significant period of time to prepare for the implementation of Universal Credit in the Scottish Borders and a range of services have been put in place to help people who need assistance, including online form completion and personal budgeting support.”

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