What if I am self-employed?

If you’re self-employed, you’ll have to report your earnings each month before you can get your payment.

You can report your earnings for the month from 7 days before and until 14 days after the end of your assessment period.

EXAMPLE: Stewart claims Universal Credit on the 16th July. His Assessment Periods start on the 16th day of each month, and end on 15th day of the following month. He starts self employment on 12th December. He must report his earnings between 9th and 29th of each month.

You will need to report all the income your business has received during the Assessment Period – these are called ‘receipts’ less certain costs that you’ve paid – these are called ‘personal allowances and permitted expenses’. This will give you your final earnings amount.

Report your earnings through your online journal. If you need help or support reporting your earnings, call the Universal Credit helpline.

Some self-employment claimants are affected by the Minimum Income Floor

The minimum income floor doesn’t apply to everyone. If it doesn’t apply to you, your payments will be based on what you actually earn through self-employment.

If it does apply to you then when the DWP work out your Universal Credit payment each month, they’ll use the higher of your real earnings and your ‘minimum income floor’ – how much they expect you to earn each month. The amount is different for each person, because not everyone is expected to work the same number of hours.

MORE INFORMATION: Link to DWP guidance

If your payment stops because your earnings increased

As your income increases, your payment will reduce until you’re earning enough to no longer be awarded Universal Credit. Your payment will then be stopped. You’ll be told when this happens.

If your earnings decrease after this, or you have another change that means you need financial support and you want to restart your Universal Credit payment, you’ll can either:

  • Reclaim UC (if your award stopped less than 6 months ago) – you do this by signing in to your online account
  • Make a new Universal Credit claim (if your award stopped more that 6 months ago).

Frequently Asked Questions

IMPORTANT:If you Universal Credit stops and you think you will become entitled again you must either make a reclaim (if it stopped less that 6 months ago) or a new claim.