In most areas, Universal Credit is NOT being claimed by families but only by people without dependent children.
However, the Government has gradually been adding to the list of JobCentres where FAMILIES MAKING NEW CLAIMS FOR OUT OF WORK BENEFITS will go through Universal Credit instead of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
This is limited to JobCentres where Universal Credit was ALREADY being tried out for single claimants AND where families meet additional eligibility conditions.
Any NEW JobCentres starting with Universal Credit AFTER February 2015 will NOT take claims for families. “Families” include lone parent households.
The Department of Work and Pensions [DWP] outlined the position here (Screenshot below, click on image to view in new tab larger size)
(NB I am still not clear what happens if a single claimant on Universal Credit subsequently moves into a household with children OR moves into a different area where UC has not yet been rolled out)
The DWP UC Factsheet for families is here
Revenue and Benefits has a very useful page here. (Screenshot below, click on image to view in new tab larger size)
Gingerbread also has a summary here (Screenshot below, click on image to view in new tab larger size)
The UC factsheet from the Department of Work and Pensions dated August 2015 also says that people can’t make claims for Universal Credit if they expect to receive any earnings from self-employment in the next month OR if one or more children in the household is receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
The GOV.UK page (last updated October 19th) with the list of JobCentres is here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/jobcentres-where-you-can-claim-universal-credit
These are JobCentres where families – including single parents – who make a new claim for out of work benefits (ie what would be Jobseeker’s Allowance anywhere else) will now be put into the process for Universal Credit. (As noted above, this currently excludes households where a child receives DLA)
Alexandra Park, Manchester*
Belle Vale, Liverpool*
Bolton Black Horse Street*
Bolton Great Moor Street*
Edge Hill, Liverpool*
Lytham St Anne’s*
Norris Green, Liverpool*
Sutton* ( available in certain postcode areas only )
West Derby, Liverpool*
Williamson Square, Liverpool*
UC interactive map link is here (The screenshot below ISN’T interactive as I didn’t want the blog page to take too long to load)
Shelter explains how housing benefit is affected by Universal Credit. Link