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Universal credit
Universal credit (UC) is gradually replacing the following benefits which are sometimes referred to as ‘legacy benefits’:
    IS; and
    income-based JSA; and
    income-related ESA; and
    housing benefit; and
    working tax credit; and
    child tax credit.
You are usually only eligible for UC if you are aged between 18 and pension age. However, some 16- and 17-year-olds can claim, as can some pension-age people who have younger partners. You can claim regardless of your circumstances, and whether or not you are working, provided you meet the basic conditions about age, education and residence, and you do not have savings or capital of over £16,000. You must accept a ‘claimant commitment’ to qualify. This is an agreement that you will meet certain conditions in order to get UC. These conditions might include attending work-focused interviews, work preparation, work search and work availability.
UC includes amounts for adults, dependent children, disability or ill health, caring responsibilities, childcare costs, rent, and some housing costs such as service charges and ground rent payable by home owners. See here for information on UC housing costs and fuel charges.
If you currently get one of the legacy benefits, and you are thinking about claiming UC instead, get advice first.