What if I start work?

What if I start work?

You may still be able to receive Universal Credit payments when you start work or increase your earnings. You will continue to receive Universal Credit payments until you are earning enough to no longer get them. That amount will depend on your circumstances.

You need to report this to your Work Coach so that:

  • You get the right amount of Universal Credit each month.
  • Your Claimant Commitment can be changed.
  • You don’t get sanctioned.

IMPORTANT: Even if the change is to stop or reduce your requirements to look for work, you must have your Claimant Commitment changed and accept the revised commitment within 7 days.

How earnings affect your Universal Credit

Any earnings – or income from self-employment – that you receive during an Assessment Period will be taken into account when your Universal Credit award is assessed.

So usually the Universal Credit you receive at the end of that Assessment Period will be less than when you weren’t working.

It might be that your earnings are high enough to take you off Universal Credit completely for that month.

But not all your earnings will be taken into account.

See How income affects an award for more information.

Do I need to tell DWP how much I earn each month?

If you are paid by PAYE you don’t need to tell the DWP how much you have earned as this happens automatically – your employer reports everyone’s earnings to HMRC, and HMRC send the information directly to the DWP.

If you’re not paid by PAYE eg because you work for a very small employer, or if you are self-employed, you will need to report your earnings and expenses every month.

Starting self-employment

If you (or your partner) have started self-employment you / they will need to attend an interview at the JobCentre where the adviser will explain how claiming Universal Credit works whilst self-employed.

CORONAVIRUS: Due to the Coronavirus outbreak you do not have to go to the JobCentre for interviews or appointments. An adviser from the JobCentre will call you to discuss your self-employment and what you have to do.

What if I have childcare costs?

You may be able to get extra help in your Universal Credit towards costs of childcare that you need to pay because you’re working.
See Help with childcare costs for more information.