Universal credit: When do benefit changes affect you?
CHANGES to the benefits system are due to be rolled out across the north by December.
Universal Credit, which replaces six existing benefits, has already been introduced in several areas including Magherafelt and Strabane.
It is now being rolled out across Belfast from today.
Claimants in the Falls and Shankill areas will be the first in the city to get the new single payment.
|13/12/2017||Magherafelt and Coleraine|
|17/01/2018||Strabane and Lisnagelvin|
|07/02/2018||Foyle and Armagh|
|21/02/2018||Omagh and Enniskillen|
|07/03/2018||Dungannon and Portadown|
|16/05/2018||Newry and Downpatrick|
|30/05/2018||Lurgan, Newcastle and Kilkeel|
|13/06/2018||Falls and Shankill|
|27/06/2018||Andersonstown and Banbridge|
|05/09/2018||Holywood Road and Ballynahinch|
|19/09/2018||Newtownabbey and Newtownards|
|03/10/2018||Shaftesbury Square and Carrickfergus|
|17/10/2018||Knockbreda and Bangor|
|31/10/2018||Lisburn and Larne|
|14/11/2018||North Belfast and Cookstown|
|05/12/2018||Ballymena and Antrim|
New claimants from the Limavady area of Co Derry were the first to claim Universal Credit in September last year.
People already claiming benefits including for housing and childcare will not be affected until 2019 unless their entitlement changes.
The change aims to simplify the benefits system. However, those opposed to the new benefit say it will bring hardship to low-income families who are already struggling to make ends meet.
Further information is available at www.nidirect.gov.uk