What if I am self-employed?

CORONAVIRUS: Many self-employed workers will receive a lump sum from the government under their Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. These need to be reported to the DWP as income in the Assessment Period received. See our Coronavirus pages for more information – click here.


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.

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. Even if you haven’t made any money, or you’ve made a loss still report this. You can carry over a loss to the following month. A loss will be deducted from your next month’s earnings.

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

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 must report his earnings between 9th and 29th of each month.

Minimum Income Floor

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.

For more information see the guide on the gov.uk website – click here.

CORONAVIRUS: The Minimum Income Floor (MIF) has been suspended for everyone during the Coronavirus outbreak. So your Universal Credit award will be based on your actual earnings. But you must continue to report your income and expenses as normal.

If your UC payment stops because your earnings increase

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).

IMPORTANT: If your 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.