In the November 2017 Budget, some positive changes to Universal Credit (UC) were announced :
- From January 2018, an interest-free advance of up to a month’s worth of UC (instead of the current half-month advance) will be available within five days of a claim.
- From February 2018, the seven day waiting period will be removed, so that entitlement to UC starts on the first day of the application.
- From April 2018, those already on Housing Benefit will continue to receive their award for the first two weeks of their UC claim.
- You can only claim Universal Credit if you live in a full service area after the end of December 2017.
- Universal Credit phone lines are now Freephone numbers, with the main numbers being:
Universal Credit live service: 0800 328 9344 (this replaces 0345 600 0723)
Universal Credit full service: 0800 328 5644 (this replaces 0345 600 4272)
The Scottish Government is proposing measures to reduce some of the negative impacts of Universal Credit. We’ll post details as they are announced.