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Universal Credit (Scottish choices)

Universal Credit is a payment reserved to the UK Government that combines six in- and out-of-work benefits into a single monthly payment. It replaces:

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support

The UK Government will continue to roll out Universal Credit for new claims until September 2018. Following that people in receipt of the legacy benefits above, eg JSA, will be transferred over to Universal Credit over a period of time. The roll out will not be finished until 2022.

Scottish choices

We do not decide the value of the Universal Credit (UC) payment or who receives it, however the Scotland Act 2016 allows the Scottish Government to provide choices to people when claiming.

On 29 June 2017, regulations were laid in the Scottish Parliament to help people by making their Universal Credit payments more flexible. The regulations will give people claiming Universal Credit in Scotland the choice of:

  • being paid Universal Credit twice a month rather than monthly; and
  • having their Universal Credit housing element being paid directly to their landlords.

These choices will be offered to people making new claims for Universal Credit in full service areas from 4 October 2017, during their Second Assessment Period, and for existing claimants from early January 2018. For more information please read our full Q&A leaflet for applicants and for organisations providing advice and support to applicants.

Other benefits for recipients of Universal Credit

Recipients of Universal Credit are automatically eligible for the following benefits, managed and paid by us: