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Check if you're eligible for Universal Credit

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

If you want to speak to someone about changes to benefits, you can phone the independent welfare changes helpline for free on 0808 802 0020 or contact your local Citizens Advice.

Universal Credit is being introduced across Northern Ireland in stages.

Whether you should apply depends on where you live and what your circumstances are.

You can check if you live in a Universal Credit area on nidirect.

If you’re already claiming benefits

You’re likely to be moved onto Universal Credit between 2019 and 2022 if you get any of the following benefits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income Support

When you are moved onto Universal Credit you won’t get any less than you’re currently getting in benefits as long as your circumstances remain the same – this is called ‘transitional protection’.

You don’t need to do anything until the Department for Communities (DfC) gets in touch.

If your circumstances change before then, for example you get a job or become unemployed, you might have to make a claim for Universal Credit instead. You don't get transitional protection when your circumstances change.

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