Universal Credit rollout dates altered

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The Department for Communities has reviewed and updated the rollout schedule for Universal Credit in Northern Ireland.

As a result, the rollout phase which was due to complete in September 2018 will now be extended to December 2018.

These changes have been made following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in the 2017 Autumn Budget of a package of measures aimed at ensuring Universal Credit claimants receive either more or earlier access to payments.

In order to deliver this additional work, the Department for Work and Pensions have extended the national roll out of new claims to Universal Credit to December 2018.

The additional support for claimants and the extension to the national roll out of new claims are welcomed in Northern Ireland and accordingly the Department for Communities has also decided to extend its roll out to complete in December 2018.

To date, Universal Credit is operational in the Limavady, Ballymoney, Magherafelt, Coleraine, Strabane and Lisnagelvin areas.

It will commence in Foyle and Armagh from Wednesday, February 7, Omagh and Enniskillen from Wednesday, February 21, and Dungannon and Portadown from Wednesday, March 7, as originally planned.

The extended implementation timetable is Newtownabbey on Wednesday, September 19, Carrickfergus on Wednesday, October 3, Larne on Wednesday, October 31 and Ballymena and Antrim on Wednesday, December 5.

Further information on Universal Credit and the rollout schedule is available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/universalcredit