Universal Credit is the government’s overarching scheme to help cover living costs if you’re struggling to make ends meet. It replaces the following benefits below:
Income-related ESAIncome SupportIncome-based Jobseeker’s AllowanceWorking Tax CreditChild Tax CreditHousing Benefit
Claims for the above benefits are generally no longer being accepted and people are being asked to make a claim for Universal Credit instead. If you’re already receiving any of the above benefits already, the DWP should have contacted you about moving to Universal Credit. Although you don’t need to make a separate claim for Universal Credit, you should report any change in circumstances that might increase or reduce your entitlement.
Generally, if you’re under state pension age and you’re on a low income or out of work and you have £16,000 or less in savings, you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit. If you have more than £6,000 in savings (but less than £16,000) you will still be eligible, but it will have an impact on the amount you can claim. If you live with your partner, their income and savings will also be taken into account when your entitlement to Universal Credit is assessed, even if they themselves aren’t eligible for it.
Universal Credit is made up of two elements – a standard allowance and extra amounts if, for example, you have a disability or health condition which means you’re unable to work. The monthly standard allowance if you’re single and over 25 is £324.84, and £509.91 if you’re over 25 and in a couple (this amount is for you both.) If you have a limited capability for work, you could get an extra monthly amount of £343.63.
You can apply for Universal Credit at Gov.uk. For more information on Universal Credit read our article Everything you need to know about Universal Credit.