Who can get Universal Credit?

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