Who can get Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is for people of working age, designed to top up your income to a minimum level and help you with your housing costs (rent and some service charges).
Universal Credit is for people on a low to moderate income. It does not matter whether you are working or not, or the reason why you are not working.
To be able to claim Universal Credit:
- You must be aged 18 or over (some 16 and 17 year olds can claim)
- You must be under pension age (or have a partner who is under pension age)
- You must have a low enough income (how low will depend on your circumstances)
- You must have savings below £16,000
- You mustn’t be excluded from claiming – this includes certain people from abroad, some students, and families who get Tax-Free Childcare.
Anyone of working age who meets these conditions can claim UC.
But only certain people have to claim – see ‘Do I have to claim?’.
IMPORTANT: There’s no limit to how many hours you can work. Although any earnings can affect how much you get.
What to think about
If you are thinking about claiming then there is a lot to consider, such as:
- What you’ll be expected to do in exchange for receiving UC.
- What deductions may be taken off your UC.
- Taking responsibility for paying your rent yourself, if you are currently having any Housing Benefit paid directly to us.
- Needing an email address, mobile phone number and regular access to the internet.
- How you’ll manage budgeting your money monthly.
- If you are a couple, which account it is paid into>
- Some people are worse off on UC.
So before claiming UC, please do seek advice from a benefits adviser as you need to make sure that, taking all your circumstances into account, you will be better off. But don’t delay – any delay in making your claim (if that is your best option) could mean that you miss out on the UC you are entitled to.
IMPORTANT: The Universal Credit rules are different and some people not currently entitled to benefits may be able to receive a financial top up from Universal Credit – seek advice from a benefits adviser or use an online benefit calculation tool.
Frequently Asked Questions