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Universal Credit roll out dates confirmed

Universal Credit will be introduced to Northern Ireland on a phased basis, beginning on 27 September 2017 according to a statement released by Minister for Communities Paul Givan.

Universal Credit will be the new benefit for working age people that will replace income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit for rent.  The introduction of this benefit is the single biggest change to the welfare system for working age people for 70 years.

How will Universal Credit be introduced to Northern Ireland?

Mr Givan’s statement explained that the transition to Universal Credit will start with a number of smaller offices, with Limavady selected as the first office to start delivering the new benefit. Ballymoney, Magherafelt and Coleraine offices will all follow suit before the end of 2017, but the majority of offices will not start delivering Universal Credit until 2018.  The Minister for Communities presented the Assembly with a schedule for implementation across Northern Ireland.

Week beginning

             Front Office Name









Magherafelt and Coleraine



Strabane and Lisnagelvin



Foyle and Armagh



Omagh and Enniskillen



Dungannon and Portadown



Banbridge and Lurgan



Kilkeel, Downpatrick and Newry



Bangor, N’ards and Holywood Road



Knockbreda, N’abbey and Shankill



Corp St, Falls and A’town



Shaftesbury Sq, Lisburn and Larne



Carrick, Antrim and Ballymena


Jul – Sep 18

Cookstown (2), Ballynahinch and Newcastle


Mr Givan referred to the schedule as  challenging but achievable and committed to  updating the Assembly when further details are finalised in relation to future phases of Universal Credit implementation. 

Tagged In

Benefits, Welfare Reform, NI Assembly

This article was written on 8 December 2016. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.