Universal Credit is paid monthly, and a person may be able to claim it if they are on a low income or out of work, and they and their partner have £16,000 or less in savings between them. Additionally, there are other rules on eligibility which a person would need to conform to in order to apply for this payment.
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
The government website currently says that if a person gets any of these benefits, they do not need to do anything unless they have a change of circumstances they need to report, or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacts them about moving to Universal Credit.
A pilot scheme for the movement of existing legacy benefits onto Universal Credit who have not had a change in circumstances is currently underway.
It began last year, taking place in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
The first phase of the roll out to Jobcentres was completed in 2018, with all new claimants and claimants with a change in circumstances now being asked to apply for Universal Credit.
Shortly after the pilot scheme for the current stage of the roll out began, the DWP said that the scheme would last for at least a year.
According to the DWP, anyone on legacy benefits whose circumstances remain the same and move to Universal Credit as part of the process will be eligible for transitional protection, should they not have higher entitlements when receiving Universal Credit, which the DWP says will mean that no one will lose out financially when they change.
How much is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to them.
For example, this could be if the claimant has children, has a disability or health condition which prevents them from working, or they need help paying rent.
It’s possible to use an independent benefits calculator online in order to see how much one could get.
How much Universal Credit a person gets will depend on earnings.
That’s because the payment will reduce as a person earns more – for every £1 a person earns their payment reduces by 63p.
It may be that some people can earn a certain amount before their Universal Credit is reduced under the “work allowance”.
Universal Credit: Standard allowance
If a person is single and under the age of 25, their monthly standard allowance is £251.77.
This rises to £317.82 if they are single and 25 or older.
Those in a couple in which both people are under 25 get £395.20 (for both people).
It’s £498.89 (for both) for a couple in which either person is 25 or older.
Universal Credit is set to rise in April 2020 by 1.7 percent in line with inflation, following the end to the benefits freeze.
The four-year freeze was announced back in 2015, and the government confirmed its commitment to end it as planned in April 2020, last year.
According to the Resolution Foundation, families will be £580 a year worse off due to the past five years of bills rising but the working-age benefits staying at the same amount.
The foundation’s analysis suggested that following the benefits freeze, the average couple with children in the bottom half of the income distribution would be £580 a year worse off.