Universal Credit is a monthly payment that replaces some other benefits.
You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or out of work.
How much you’ll get depends on your circumstances, including your income and how many children you have.
2. How it works
There’s no limit to the number of hours you can work a week if you get Universal Credit.
Your payment will reduce gradually as you earn more. You won’t lose all your benefits at once if you’re on a low income.
3. How you’ll be paid
Universal Credit is paid differently from other benefits. It’ll be paid once a month, usually into your bank, building society or credit union account.
If you live with your partner and you both claim Universal Credit, you’ll receive a single payment that covers you both.
4. Paying your rent
You can get help with housing costs. It’ll be paid to you as part of your monthly Universal Credit payment.
You’ll have to arrange to start paying your own rent if you used to get Housing Benefit and don’t do this already.
You can currently claim Universal Credit if you’re either:
a single person anywhere in England, Wales and Scotland
a couple or family living in certain areas
To get Universal Credit you must: be 18 or over
- Be under State Pension age.
- Not be in full time education or training not have savings over £16,000
- You’ll get less Universal Credit if you have savings over £6,000 or earn enough money to cover your basic living costs.
- If you live with your partner you’ll need to make a joint claim as a couple. Your partner’s income and savings will be taken into account, even if they aren’t eligible for Universal Credit.
- If you want to claim a benefit without your savings, your partner’s savings or their income being taken into account, you can apply for either:
‘new style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
‘new style’ Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- You can apply for these if you’re entitled to apply for Universal Credit.
- If you have children
- You can make a new Universal Credit claim if you either:
have 2 children or fewer and you live in a Universal Credit area
received Universal Credit in the previous 6 months and your payments have stopped - it doesn’t matter how many children you have.
- If you have 3 or more children and you haven’t claimed Universal Credit before, you can apply for Child Tax Credit.
- If you have a disability or illness that affects your work
- You may need to have a work capability assessment to see how your disability or health condition affects your ability to work. If you need an assessment you’ll get a letter telling you where to go and what to do.
- Depending on the outcome of your assessment you could be eligible for an extra payment on top of your standard allowance.
Who isn’t eligible:
You can’t claim Universal Credit if you already get:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- income-related Incapacity Benefit
- You may be able to claim other benefits if you don’t live in a qualifying area or - - you’re not eligible to claim Universal Credit.
How to claim
You can claim Universal Credit online.
Contact the Universal Credit helpline if:
you have any questions
your circumstances change and you’re already getting Universal Credit
Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Textphone: 0345 600 0743
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
What is it &
How to apply