Universal Credit replaced several other benefits payments, like Child Tax Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit, making them one consolidated payment. There are several things which will qualify a claimant for Universal Credit, and these depend on your living situation, job status and more.
Typically Universal Credit is paid as one single payment each month, but can be made up of several elements dependent on your circumstances.
Before you make a claim, it is difficult to say how much you will receive.
Depending on your marital status, whether you have children, your job status and if you have a disability payments can increase or decrease each month.
Payments can also be impacted if you pick up any work, have a sudden boost in savings or move home.
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So, how is Universal Credit calculated?
There are several elements which come together to make up your Universal Credit payment if you are eligible.
You may be eligible if
- you’re on a low income or out of work
- you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
- you live in the UK
If you’re claiming Universal Credit, you will get one standard allowance for your household. The amount you will get is:
- £342.72 per month for single claimants under 25
- £409.89 per month for single claimants aged 25 or over
- £488.59 per month for joint claimants both under 25
- £594.04 per month for joint claimants with either aged 25 or over
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On top of the standard allowance, you might get additional allowances including:
- child element
- childcare costs element
- limited capability for work-related activity element (LCWRA)
- limited capability for work and work element (not available after 3 April 2017)
- carer element
- housing costs element
If you’re employed, how much Universal Credit you get will depend on your earnings.
Your Universal Credit payment will reduce gradually as you earn more – for every £1 you earn your payment reduces by 63p.
Use a benefits calculator to see how increasing your hours or starting a new job could affect what you get.
You can claim Universal Credit online, just go to the Government’s website here.
To claim you will need
- your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
- an email address
- information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
- details of your income, for example payslips
- details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
- details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
- driving licence
- debit or credit card
The Universal Credit team might phone you after you’ve sent your application if they need more information or if you cannot verify your identity online.
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