Universal Credit (Scottish choices)
Cost of living crisis: find out what help is available
Universal Credit is a UK-wide benefit reserved to the UK Government. It is a single monthly payment that has replaced the following six benefits:
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
The roll-out of Universal Credit for new claims was completed in December 2018. The Department for Work and Pensions has stated that they aim to have everyone currently receiving one or more of the older benefits listed above switched to Universal Credit by the end of 2028.
The Universal Credit Scottish choices give people living in Scotland the option of:
- being paid Universal Credit twice a month rather than monthly
- having their Universal Credit housing element being paid directly to their landlords
The Universal Credit Scottish choices have been available to people making new claims in full service Universal Credit areas since 4 October 2017, and were extended to everyone receiving Universal Credit from 31 January 2018. The Department for Work and Pensions deliver the Universal Credit Scottish choices on our behalf.
For more information about the Universal Credit Scottish choices, see our full Q and A leaflet for applicants and for organisations providing advice and support to applicants.
Other benefits for recipients of Universal Credit
Recipients of Universal Credit are automatically eligible for the following benefits, managed and paid by us:
- legal aid
- court exemption fees
- free school lunches
- free NHS dental treatment
- NHS patient travel costs
- NHS optical vouchers
- individual learning accounts
- education maintenance allowance
- early learning and childcare entitlement
Policy position papers
We have published a series of social security policy papers setting out our position on the development of the devolved benefits in Scotland.