New benefits announced

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A new single monthly benefit payment – for people in or out of work – was introduced by Winchester City Council last month.

Universal Credit, as it is known, is designed to simplify the current welfare system by supporting people on a low income, and it will replace six existing benefits and tax credits.

Residents in Denmead, Whiteley and Bishop’s Waltham will be affected. Initially, it will only affect newly unemployed, single people. The amount paid will depend on individual circumstances and income.

Monthly payments will be made directly into claimants’ chosen bank accounts. Payments will reduce gradually as earnings increase so claimants won’t lose all their benefits at once.