Introduced as a benefit to those who are either in low-income employment or are unemployed, Universal credit is the payment replacing the old legacy payments that were previously in place.
What is Universal Credit?
Claimed online, universal credit replaces housing benefit, income support, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income based Employment and Support Allowance, working tax credit and housing benefit. Implemented for those who are on a low income or are unemployed, universal credit is paid based on the amount you earn rather than how long you work. Therefore, as your income increases your payments won’t stop straight away, but instead they will decrease based on how much more you are getting paid. However, there is a work allowance which dictates how much money you are able to earn before your universal credit payments are affected. To be eligible for this allowance, candidates must be responsible for dependant children, or are unable to work much due to an illness or disability.
The Department for Work and Pensions will assess your application. Determining how much you are paid for universal credit by looking at your household circumstances. If you live with a partner, their income will also be assessed as well as their savings regardless of whether they are eligible for universal credit. Pensions, other benefits and any personal savings can also affect how much you are paid. Some unearned incomes such as maintenance payments, disability living allowance, income from lodgers and personal independence payment wont affect your universal payment amount.
How often is universal credit paid?
Universal credit is paid on a monthly basis in arrears (money owed and needed to be paid earlier). The day the claim is submitted is known as the assessment date, every calendar month after this date you can expect payments to start, allowing for time for the money to arrive in your bank account.
If you are still unsure as to whether universal credit applies to you, or if you would like any guidance or help, please do not hesitate to get in touch.