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Universal Credit to be introduced in Northern Ireland from September

Thursday 03 August 2017

Universal Credit will be introduced in Northern Ireland on a phased geographical basis from 27 September 2017.

As it reaches the respective geographical areas, people living in those areas will be able to make a claim to Universal Credit instead of having to submit multiple claims for the benefits that it is replacing.

The planned approach starts in Limavady then moves to Ballymoney week commencing 13 November and Magherafelt and Coleraine from 11 December 2017. The roll-out continues from 15 January 2018 in Strabane and Lisnagelvin and running up until July - September 2018 to Cookstown, Ballynahinch and Newcastle. Full details of when Universal Credit will be introduced in your area can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/UniversalCredit

In Northern Ireland, twice monthly payments of Universal Credit will be available to all households as the default payment option.  Claimants will be able to opt out and request a monthly payment if they wish.

In Northern Ireland the housing element of Universal Credit will be paid directly to landlords as the default option for rented properties.  Claimants will be able to opt out and have the housing element paid to them if they meet certain criteria.

A number of events have been arranged by the authority in Northern Ireland to prepare stakeholders for the introduction of Universal Credit. Members wishing to find out further information about these events should email universalcreditcommunications@communities-ni.gov.uk