universal credit

Universal Credit – Everything You Really Need To Know

In this post, we will discuss Universal Credit, including its benefits, eligibility, and other details. Let's get started!

December 25, 2021

Spread the love

Universal Credit is a new benefit for adults of working age that replaces a variety of other benefits and tax credits. It is intended to assist low-income (or no-income) individuals with their essential living expenditures and housing bills. The amount you can get is determined by your circumstances and other sources of income. If you have a job but a low income, you can still claim Universal Credit. In this post, we will discuss Universal Credit, including its benefits, eligibility, and other details.

universal credit

What is Universal Credit UK?

Universal Credit is a payment designed to assist you with your living expenses. It is paid monthly – or twice a month for certain Scots. You might be eligible to acquire it if you have a low income, are out of work, or are unable to work.

Universal credit benefits

The below benefits are being replaced by Universal Credit:

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

You do not need to do anything if you presently receive any of these advantages unless:

  • You must inform if your situation has changed
  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) approaches you on the transition to Universal Credit.
  • If you get tax credits, they will be terminated when you or your partner apply for Universal Credit. Learn how tax credits and Universal Credit interact here.

Universal credit sign in

In order to sign in to “my Universal Credit” account, follow these steps:

  • Request a payment advance on your first payment
  • Look at your statement
  • Notify us of a change in circumstances
  • Make a scribble in your journal
  • Look at your to-do list
  • Find out when you have to make your next payment.
  • Look at your Claimant Commitment

Use the username and password you created when applying for Universal Credit. If you are unsure, you can request a reminder

Maybe you also care about Tax Credits

Eligibility

If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for Universal Credit:

  • You are jobless or have a poor income
  • You’re 18 or older (certain exclusions apply if you’re 16 to 17)
  • You are under the age of eligibility for the State Pension (or your partner is)
  • You and your partner have a combined savings of £16,000 or less, and you live in the United Kingdom.

If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, you and your family will likely require established or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme in order to qualify for Universal Credit. For most people, the deadline to apply to the plan was 30 June 2021, although you may still be able to apply.

Your eligibility for Universal Credit is unaffected by the number of children you have, but it may affect the amount you get.

If you are not eligible for Universal Credit, use a benefits calculator to see what other benefits you may be eligible for.

You can try to visit our blog: Benefits Calculator – Everything You Need To Know

If you share a home with your partner,

Even if your partner is not eligible for Universal Credit, their income and savings will be considered.

If you’re 18 or older and in full-time training or study,

If any of the following apply, you can make a new claim for Universal Credit:

  • You and your partner share a home and they are both eligible for Universal Credit
  • As a single individual or as a couple, you are accountable for a kid
  • You’re in further education, you’re 21 or younger, and you don’t have parental support, such as if you’re estranged from your parents and you’re not in local authority care.

If you are switching from Employment and Support Allowance to Income Support (ESA)

If you are in full-time school and meet all of the following criteria, you can file a new claim for Universal Credit.

  •  Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) are available to you (DLA)
  • You’ve already been determined to have restricted job capabilities
  • You file a new claim before your ESA expires or as soon as you receive notification that your ESA claim has expired

If you are at the age of 16 or 17,

If any of the following apply, you can make a new claim for Universal Credit:

  • You have medical documentation and are awaiting a Work Capability Assessment
  • You are responsible for a seriously handicapped individual
  • You are in charge of a youngster
  • You are a couple with at least one kid, and your spouse is eligible for Universal Credit
  • You’re pregnant, and you’re 11 weeks or less away from your due date
  • You’ve had a baby within the previous 15 weeks
  • You do not have parental assistance, for example, if you are alienated from your parents and are not in the care of the local authorities.

If you are a full-time student,

You can also file a claim if you are enrolled in full-time further education and any of the following conditions apply:

  • You do not have parental support and are not under the care of the local government
  • You have restricted work capabilities and are eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • You are in charge of a child
  • You’re in a relationship with a kid, and your spouse is eligible for Universal Credit.

If you’re in a relationship and one of you is of State Pension age,

  • If one of you is under the State Pension age and eligible for Universal Credit, you and your partner can claim Universal Credit as a pair
  • When both of you reach State Pension age, your Universal Credit claim will be terminated
  • When your Universal Credit runs out, you may be eligible to apply for Pension Credit or other benefits as a couple. Inquire with your Jobcentre Plus job coach to see what more you could be qualified for.

What entitlements can I get on Universal Credit?

Your Universal Credit payment consists of a regular allowance plus any additional amounts that apply to you, such as if you:

  • Have children
  • You have a handicap or a medical condition that stops you from working
  • Seek support in paying your rent

To find out how much you may get, use a benefits calculator. The amount of Universal Credit you receive is determined by your wages. Every month, your situation is reviewed. Changes in your circumstances can have an impact on your pay for the whole assessment period, not just the day you report them. The benefit cap may limit the overall amount of benefits you are eligible for.

Standard allowance

universal creditExtra amounts

If you are eligible, you may get additional funds in addition to your usual allowance.

If you have kids,

If you have one or two children, you will receive an additional sum for each kid.

If you have three or more children, you will receive an additional sum for at least two of them. You can only obtain a bonus for having additional children if any of the following conditions are met:

  • Your children were born prior to April 6, 2017
  • Prior to April 6, 2017, you were already claiming for three or more children
  • There are several exceptions.

You will get an additional sum for every impaired or seriously disabled kid, regardless of how many children you have or when they were born.

universal credit

Find more information about childcare costs here.

You may be eligible for an additional payment if you begin caring for another kid, depending on when they were born and how many children you have.

If you have a disability or health condition

universal credit

Find more information about the limited capability for work and work-related activity here.

If you are responsible for the care of a seriously handicapped person,

universal credit

Housing expenses

You might be able to obtain money to help with your housing bills. The amount you receive is determined by your age and circumstances. Rent and other service expenses may be covered by the money. If you own a property, you may be eligible to acquire a loan to help with the interest payments on your mortgage or other home loans.

How your earnings affect your payments

If you work, the amount of Universal Credit you receive is determined by your wages. Your Universal Credit payment will gradually decrease as you make more money; for every £1 you earn, your payment will decrease by 55p. There is no limit to the number of hours you can work.

You can learn more about Self Assessment Tax Return

The work allowance

If you or your partner are either: You can earn a set amount before your Universal Credit is decreased if you or your partner are either:

  • In charge of a youngster or adolescent
  • You have a handicap or a health condition that limits your ability to work.

This is known as a ‘work allowance.’ If you get housing assistance, your work allowance is reduced.

universal credit
If your payment is stopped because your wages have increased,

As your income rises, your payment will decrease until you no longer qualify for Universal Credit. Your payment will then be terminated. When this occurs, you will be notified. If your wages fall after that, you can claim Universal Credit.

If you received your last payment within the previous 6 months, you can reopen your old claim by signing in to your Universal Credit account. Any changes in your circumstances must be reported. If you qualify for Universal Credit, your payments will continue with the same monthly assessment period as before.

If you got your previous payment more than 6 months ago, you must file a new Universal Credit claim. Sign in to your Universal Credit account to file a new claim. Your payment will not be made on the same day as your previous claim. It normally takes 5 weeks to receive your first payment.

Surplus earnings

If your monthly earnings exceed £2,500 beyond the amount at which your payment was terminated, this is referred to as surplus earnings.

Your excess earnings will be carried over to the next month, where they will be included as part of your earnings. You will not get a Universal Credit payment if your earnings (including surplus earnings) are still higher than the level where your payment ends.

Your surplus will be reduced if your earnings fall below the amount when your payments stopped. Once your surplus has been depleted, you will be able to receive a Universal Credit payment once more.

You’ll have to reclaim Universal Credit every month until your wages are low enough to qualify for another payment.  For additional information about surplus earnings, speak with your job coach.  Your work allowance will be shown on the statement in your online journal, as well as when the surplus will be reduced.

If you separate from your partner,

If you are part of a couple that receives Universal Credit jointly, any surplus earnings will be split equally if you separate. You’ll then have to reapply separately, with your part of the surplus earnings counting against your earnings. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you do not accept any extra money from your partner. Speak with your work coach to ensure that your partner’s excess earnings are not shared between you.

If you work for yourself,

A loss (as well as a surplus) might be carried over to the next month. A loss will be deducted from your earnings for the next month.

universal credit

Other financial support

If you’re having financial issues, the government, local governments, and other organizations can assist you.

Advance and hardship payments

You can request an advance payment after you’ve filed a claim if you don’t have enough money to live on while you wait for your initial payout.  If you are unable to pay your rent, heating, food, or hygiene requirements as a result of a sanction, you may request a hardship payment.  You must repay it through your Universal Credit payments, which will be reduced until you do so.

Alternative payment arrangements

If you are experiencing financial difficulties or are falling behind on your rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA). Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to obtain an APA to:

  • Get your rent paid to your landlord immediately
  • Receive payment more frequently than once a month
  • If you’re part of a pair, you’ll get dividend payments.

To apply for an APA, speak with your work coach.

Budgeting advance

You may be eligible to obtain a Budgeting Advance to assist you with:

  • The replacement of a broken stove is an example of an emergency home expense.
  • Obtaining a job or remaining in one’s current position
  • Funeral expenses

You’ll repay it with your regular Universal Credit payments, which will be reduced until you pay it off. If you cease receiving Universal Credit, you will have to find another means to return the money.

What is the maximum amount you can borrow?

What you get will be determined by how much you require; the quantity will be determined in consultation with your work coach. The smallest loan amount available is £100. You can reach the following levels:

  • If you’re single, the cost is £348
  • If you’re in a pair, it’ll cost you £464
  • If you have kids,  the cost is £812.

Eligibility

To qualify for a Budgeting Advance, you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Unless you need the money to assist you to start a new job or stay in a job, you’ve been receiving Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or State Pension Credit for 6 months or longer
  • In the last six months, you’ve earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 for couples)
  • All past Budgeting Advance loans have been paid off.

Universal Credit is a payment for those over the age of 18 but under the age of State Pension eligibility who are on a low income or out of employment. It covers the costs of housing, children, and daycare, as well as financial assistance for persons with disabilities, caregivers, and those who are too sick to work. To ensure that you receive financial support, you need to have a thorough understanding of Universal Credit and its related important information.

Let’s get started with our free Driving Theory test practice if you wish to take the license exam!