Introduced as part of the Conservative Government's welfare reform, Universal Credit replaces six benefits - child tax credit, housing benefit, income support, jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance, and working tax credit - with one monthly payment.
Historically, benefits were paid fortnightly.
Only new claimants and those with a change of circumstance are put on Universal Credit, though the Government plans to start shifting all those on old style benefits onto the new system from July, starting in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
Universal Credit was rolled out in Blackpool last July, with almost 5,00 people already on it. Some 3,423 are unemployed; 1,521 have jobs.