Universal Credit: Expert on ‘difficulty’ of monthly payment
Universal Credit is available to help people struggling with economic hardship. As England faces a third national lockdown this month due to coronavirus, many may need to access Government support over the coming months. MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis explained in his latest weekly newsletter that Universal Credit can help people during these difficult economic times.
Mr Lewis said: “Universal Credit is a benefit available to many employed, self-employed and unemployed people or those on low incomes, whether furloughed, getting SEISS or not.”
Mr Lewis added: “Many dismiss it, but while it’s not perfect it may help.
“At the top end, including housing allowances it can be worth £1,500/mth tax-free.
“So if you’re struggling, check if you’re eligible… Though those with savings above £6,000 get less (rightly or wrongly – you’re expected to then support yourself more).”
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Can you get Universal Credit if you work?
People who are employed can still get Universal Credit, but how much they may be eligible to receive depends on their earnings.
There isn’t a limit on how many hours someone can work as a Universal Credit claimant.
For every £1 a claimant earns, Universal Credit payments reduce by 63p.
However due to the work allowance, people may be able to earn a certain amount before their Universal Credit payments are reduced, depending on their personal circumstances.
People who are responsible for a child or young person, or people who live with a disability or health condition which affects their ability to work, are eligible for the work allowance.
The work allowance is £292 per month for people who get help with their housing costs.
The work allowance is £512 per month for people who do not get help with their housing costs.
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If a claimant earns enough to stop receiving Universal Credit, their payments from the Government will be stopped.
The Government guidance states: “As your income increases, your payment will reduce until you’re earning enough to no longer claim Universal Credit.
“Your payment will then be stopped. You’ll be told when this happens.
“If your earnings decrease after this, you can claim Universal Credit again.”
How much is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance, but people can get extra amounts depending on their personal circumstances.
For example people who have children, or people who have a disability or health condition, may be eligible for extra funding on top of the standard allowance.
The monthly standard allowance under Universal Credit is as follows:
- Single and under 25 – £342.72
- Single and 25 or over – £409.89
- In a couple, and both are under 25 – £488.59 for both
- In a couple, and either are 25 or over – £594.04 for both
Benefits calculators can be found via the Government website, which can help people find out how much they could get in benefits.
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