How to claim Universal Credit (UV credit) | ϲֱ쿪

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Universal Credit

If you're on a low income or you're out of work, you might be able to claim Universal Credit to help you cover your living costs.


What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit that's paid monthly. It's designed to help you if you're on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit had been rolled out to all areas of the UK by December 2018 and is gradually replacing the following 'legacy' benefits:

If you currently receive any of these benefits, you'll continue to get them as normal for the time being. Your or Tax Credit Office will let you know when your benefit is due to be replaced by Universal Credit.

If you're making a new claim, you'll usually need to claim Universal Credit instead of any of the above legacy benefits.


How much Universal Credit could I get?

The amount of Universal Credit you might get depends on a few different things, such as how much you earn or how much you have in savings.

It may also vary depending on how much you earned in the month before, and whether your circumstances have changed.

The basic standard Universal Credit allowances depend on your age and whether you're single or a couple. In 2023-24, the basic standard allowances are as follows:

If you're single

  • Under 25 – £292.11 per month
  • 25 or over – £368.74 per month

If you're a couple

  • Joint claimants both under 25 – £458.51 per month
  • Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over – £578.82 per month

On top of the standard allowance, you might be entitled to extra money if you have:

  • housing costs
  • a health condition or disability
  • caring responsibilities for a disabled person
  • dependant children
  • childcare costs.

Am I eligible for Universal Credit?

You can claim Universal Credit if you:

  • live in the UK
  • are under State Pension age
  • have a low income or are out of work 
  • have savings below £16,000
  • aren't in education
  • accept a ‘claimant commitment’.

A claimant commitment outlines what you'll need to do to keep receiving Universal Credit. It's based on your individual circumstances.

You can't claim Universal Credit if you’re already receiving the following 'legacy' benefits:

If you receive these benefits, you'll be told when it's time for you to start claiming Universal Credit instead.

If you're a mixed-age couple

If you're a mixed-aged couple (one of you is over State Pension age and the other isn't) and you're making a new claim, you'll need to claim Universal Credit rather than Pension Credit.

If you're a mixed-age couple and you already receive Pension Credit, you can keep doing so for as long as you remain entitled to it. 

 

Are you entitled to extra money?

Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Our Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.


How do I claim Universal Credit?

You can claim Universal Credit by filling out the online claim form.

You'll then normally be invited to a face-to-face interview with a work coach at your local Jobcentre Plus.

During your interview, you’ll need to agree to certain conditions (this is known as making a 'claimant commitment'). For example, you might have to agree to a job search plan to help you get back to work or increase your income.

The conditions of the claimant commitment depend on your health, your responsibilities and your circumstances.

If you don't meet the conditions, your benefit might be reduced or stopped.

What if I need help filling out the form?

If you need help filling out the form, or you have any questions, call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 (or textphone: 0800 328 1344). 

If you don’t feel confident about claiming online, ask your local ϲֱ쿪 for help or call the ϲֱ쿪 Advice Line on 0800 678 1602.

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Last updated: Oct 05 2023

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