All benefits and most wages are paid directly into a bank, so you will need to set up a bank account.  To set up a bank account you will need identification and proof of address.

The new Welfare Reform Act 2012 is changing the way we claim benefits.  The benefits under the Welfare Reform Act include Universal Credit there is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get and this is called the benefit cap. The level of the cap is:

  • £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them).
  • £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them.
  • £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them.

This may mean the amount you get for certain benefits will go down to make sure that the total amount you get isn’t more than the cap level. For further information you can access Universal Credit is a new benefit that has started to replace 6 existing benefits with a single monthly payment if you are out of work or on a low income. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit, which means the amount you get depends on how much income and capital you’ve got. Capital means things like savings and some kinds of property. Universal Credit will eventually replace:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit

Universal Credit was introduced in April 2013 in selected areas of Greater Manchester and Cheshire.   At this time, eligibility to claim Universal Credit depends on where you live and your personal circumstances. Universal Credit will be gradually rolled out to the rest of the UK from October 2013 and will be completed by 2017.

  See Also:


– National Insurance Number
– National Insurance Contributions
– Child Benefits
– Tax Credits