Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit for people aged between 16 and 64. You may be eligible to receive this if you’re on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit shall be replacing most of the existing means-tested benefits for people of working age. It’s paid monthly or twice a month for some people in Scotland. Please visit the following link to see how you will be paid: https://www.go.uk/universal-credit/how-youre-paid. If you live in Northern Ireland, please visit the following site for further information: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/universalcredit.

Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:

  1. Child Tax Credit
  2. Housing Benefit
  3. Income Support
  4. Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  5. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  6. Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK. You don’t need to do anything until you hear from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about moving to Universal Credit, unless you have a change in circumstances.

You may be able to receive Universal Credit if:

  1. You’re out of work or on a low income;
  2. You’re aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re aged 16-17);
  3. You or your partner are under State Pension Credit qualifying age (please visit the following link to see what your state pension qualifying age is: https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age);
  4. You and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you;
  5. You live in the UK.

You can use the benefits calculator on the following link, to check what benefits you could get if you’re ineligible for Universal Credit: https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators.

Your partner’s income and savings will be considered, even if they’re ineligible for Universal Credit.

You cannot claim Universal Credit if you have three or more dependent children and have not claimed Universal Credit in the last 6 months. However, you can apply for Child Tax Credit on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit.

Aged 16-17:

If you’re aged 16-17, you can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  1. You have a limited capability for work, or have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment;
  2. You’re caring for a severely disabled person;
  3. You’re responsible for a child;
  4. You have a partner and responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit;
  5. You’re pregnant and it’s 11 weeks or less before your due date;
  6. You’ve given birth in the last 15 weeks;
  7. You don’t have parental support, i.e. you’ve been estranged from your parents and you’re not under local authority care.

Students and Apprentices:

If you’re in training or full-time education, you can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  1. You live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit;
  2. You’re responsible for a child, as a single parent or a couple;
  3. You’re disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have a limited capability for work;
  4. You’re in ‘non-advanced education’ (i.e. A Levels or a BTEC National Diploma), aged under 21 and don’t have parental support.

Your Circumstances:

The amount of Universal Credit you will receive depends on your family circumstances and what other income and savings you have. Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts, depending on whether you:

  1. Have children;
  2. Have a disability or health condition, which prevents you from working;
  3. Need help paying your rent.

How much Universal Credit you receive will depend on your earnings. For more information on this, please visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-your-earnings-affect-your-payments.

Your circumstances are assessed every month and what you’re paid can change.

The benefit cap may also limit the total amount of benefit that you receive. You can find more information on the benefit cap on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/benefit-cap.

Making Claims:

Universal Credit is claimed from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Claims should normally be made online, although they will sometimes allow a claim to be made over the phone. For example, if you have problems with reading or writing, or are unable to use a computer, you can call 0800 328 5644, to claim Universal Credit.

To claim online, you’ll need to set up an online Universal Credit account on: www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit.

For further information on claiming and appealing a Universal Credit application, please contact our Core Services team on 0845 241 2173 or contact@metabolicsupportuk.org