THE biggest consequence of the Welfare Reform Act (2012) is the introduction of Universal Credit (UC). This will be a single, means tested benefit and will replace:
*Income – based Job Seeker’s Allowance
*Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
*Child Tax Credit
*Working Tax Credit
The Government’s welfare reform agenda is already having a significant impact on families and individuals all around Moray.
"We have noticed a 7% rise in benefits enquiries since April 2012.”
UC will be a single benefit payment, paid monthly to claimants of working age whether in or out of work, sick or disabled, or a carer for children or disabled people.
Most people will have to show they are taking steps to prepare themselves for work, by signing a claimant commitment.
Moray UC will be introduced gradually from October 2013 with all new benefit claims on UC by mid-2014.
Existing claimants of the benefits listed above will be transferred to UC between April 2014 and 2017.
Further information on welfare reforms and any other consumer issues is available from Moray CAB on 01343 55 00 88.
Look out for Sandra Dow’s next advice column in 'The Northern Scot' and online on Friday, February 15.