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Universal Credit

More detailed information about what Universal Credit is and who can claim this benefit in Colchester can be found here www.colchester.gov.uk/universalcredit

Below is a summary of some of the changes regarding Universal Credit

Removal of housing element entitlement for 18 - 21 year olds

Subject to exceptions, any 18-21 year-old who makes a new claim for Universal Credit

(UC) in a full service area from 1 April 2017 will not have any housing costs included in their assessment. UC Full Service roll out in Colchester is planned for April 2018.

There will be some exemptions for vulnerable young people.  Those who worked for six months prior to making a claim will be entitled to get housing support for six months while they look for work.

Reduction in Taper Rate

From April 2017 the Taper Rate was reduced from 65% to 63%.  The Taper Rate sets the amount of benefit that you lose for each pound earned over your Work Allowance.  This means for every £1 earned over your Work Allowance your benefit will be reduced by 63p rather than 65p.

Limitations on Child Element and removal of the First Child Premium

Currently the maximum amount of Universal Credit that can be awarded includes an amount of benefit for each child that the claimant has; this is known as the Child Element.   For new claims, from April 2017 the Child Element can only be paid for two children.  In addition, the enhancement, paid for the 1st child, known as the First Child Premium will be removed.