Universal Credit Digital Service – further areas announced

The Government has announced an updated timetable for the roll out of the full universal credit (UC) service. Throughout Great Britain, the majority of single jobseekers must claim UC, rather than jobseeker’s allowance. In a few other sites, mostly in the Northwest of England, couples and people with children can claim too.

Since May, though, a handful of other areas have started to replace all new claims to the six old benefits that are being abolished (income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, housing benefit and child and working tax credits) with claims to universal credit. Not just jobseekers, but people working on a low income, people with disabilities, lone parents and more. People in these areas who already receive one of the legacy benefits and have a change of circumstance will also move on to UC. This is called the full UC service or the UC digital service and it means a much wider variety of people will be affected by universal credit than the mostly young, single jobseekers affected up to now.

This digital service roll out was due to take place in around 5 jobcentres per month during 2016, increasing to 50 per month from early 2017.  This timetable has been revised and it is now likely to remain at 5 jobcentres per month until June 2017 before increasing to 30 jobcentres per month from July 2017. It then speeds up to 55 per month from October 2017 and 65 per month from February 2018. By September 2018, new claims to all legacy benefits would be replaced by universal credit in all areas. The remaining existing benefit claimants, who do not have changes in circumstance in the mean time, will be transitioned across to UC by 2022.

The currently announced areas where the full digital service will be in place are below. New announcements are highlighted in bold.

Pilot areas

  • Sutton
  • Croydon
  • London bridge
  • Hounslow
  • Musselburgh
  • Purley
  • Thornton Heath
  • Great Yarmouth

Phase 1 of full roll-out

May 2016

  • Bath and North East Somerset – Bath JCP
  • Newcastle City Council – Newcastle Cathedral Square JCP
  • Rugby Borough Council – Rugby JCP
  • Sedgemoor District Council – Bridgwater JCP
  • Waveney District Council – Lowestoft JCP

June 2016

  • Harrogate Borough Council – Harrogate JCP
  • Richmondshire Borough Council – Richmond JCP
  • Highland Council – Inverness JCP
  • London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham – Hammersmith JCP
  • Ryedale District Council – Ryedale JCP

July 2016

  • Halton Borough Council – Runcorn JCP and Widnes JCP
  • Lancaster City Council – Lancaster JCP and Morecombe JCP
  • Mendip District Council – Frome JCP and Wells JCP

Phase 2 of full roll-out

October 2016

  • Craven District Council – Skipton JCP
  • Hambleton District Council – Northallerton JCP
  • London Borough of Lambeth – Kensington JCP
  • London Borough of Southwark – Peckham JCP
  • Taunton Deane Borough Council – Taunton JCP
  • West Somerset Council – Minehead JCP

November 2016

  • Allerdale Borough Council – Workington JCP
  • Copeland Borough Council – Whitehaven JCP
  • Daventry District Council – Daventry JCP
  • Harborough District Council – Market Harborough JCP
  • Melton Borough Council – Melton Mowbray JCP
  • Inverclyde Council – Port Glasgow JCP and Greenock JCP
  • East Dunbartonshire Council – Kirkintilloch JCP

December 2016

  • Hartlepool Borough Council – Hartlepool JCP
  • Hastings Borough Council – Hastings JCP
  • London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham – Shepherd’s Bush JCP and Fulham JCP
  • Stratford District Council – Stratford-upon-Avon JCP
  • Swindon Borough Council – Swindon JCP

Phase 3 of full roll-out

February 2017

  • Corby Borough Council – Corby JCP
  • Southampton City Council – Southampton JCP
  • Newcastle City Council – Newcastle East JCP
  • Warrington Borough Council – Warrington JCP
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets – Poplar JCP

March 2017

  • Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council – Hinckley JCP
  • Midlothian Council – Dalkeith JCP and Penicuik JCP
  • Newcastle City Council – Newcastle West JCP
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets and City of London – City Tower JCP