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The New Universal Credit And Personal Independence Payment

There's no denying that the Welfare Benefits system is complex and difficult to understand and, in addition, when people use the benefits system they can’t be sure that they will have more money if they get a job. Consequently the government has introduced a new system designed to make things easier to understand. Universal Credit will replace many existing benefits in order that people who are over 16 and under 65 will get just the one benefit. It is also aimed at ensuring that they will not lose out financially when they get a job.

So far Universal Credit has been introduced in four pilot areas in the North West of England, with new pathfinders due to be introduced slowly and steadily. Universal Credit will initially be given to single people with no dependents and who are available for work. Others (e.g. people with children, or who have health issues, etc) will move on to the new Benefit sometime before 2017. For updates and further information go to www.gov.uk.

The new benefit will take the place of: Income Support; Job Seekers Allowance; Employment and Support Allowance; Housing benefit; Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. It will not replace the benefits that people can get if they have paid National Insurance contributions.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is presently being introduced to replace the non means-tested Disability Living Allowance for claimants aged 16 to 64.. There will be two components – daily living and mobility – each paid at two rates (comparable to middle and upper present rates). More details can be found on the government website www.gov.uk

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