This post was first published by My London on 09/06/2019.
Universal Credit: How much you will get and how it’s worked out
The breakdown of how it’s worked out when you make a claim.
Pretty much all of us have heard of Universal Credit and know it is a payment to help with living costs, but finding out if you’re eligible for it and figuring out how much you will get is a totally different level of understanding.
It was introduced by the coalition government in October 2013 to replace six separate benefits. Its intention was to simplify the welfare system.
This means anyone who makes a new claim now that previously would have fallen under an old benefit will be put onto Universal Credit. It includes 135,000 Londoners and a total of three million people in the UK.
Most people will be gradually moved over to Universal Credit, starting with the trial group of 10,000 people this July 2019, reports Birmingham Live .
However, if someone’s circumstances change, like they move house or their relationship ends, they will be forced to have Universal Credit instead.
This means thousands of people are being left wondering how much they will get if they make a claim for Universal Credit or if they are being moved across. They want to know how this impacts them.
This information is so important, especially given the fact people have suffered immeasurably when their payments were reduced, delayed, or even stopped altogether when this new system came into place.
In fact it was recently revealed that those in need of the benefit were left without money for up to three years as a result of penalties imposed on them.
Situations people have been left in as a result have had serious impacts on their health, like this Croydon woman who was suicidal after taking out a payday loan .
Here’s all you need to know to find out an idea of how much you will get in Universal Credit payments.
How much Universal Credit do you get?
The amount you get its calculated by taking various factors into account.
If you have children, a disability, or you need some help paying for your rent, you might be entitled to more on top of the standard amount.
It is also worth noting that the Universal Credit Work Allowance, how much someone can earn before benefits decrease, will go up by £1,000 a year. This will mean about 2.4 million households will get an extra £630 every year.
The standard monthly allowance
Single and under 25 = £251.77
Single and 25 or over = £317.82
In a couple and you’re both under 25 = £395.20 (for you both)
In a couple and either of you are 25 or over = £498.89 (for you both) #
If you have children
For your first child (if child is born before April 6, 2017) = £277.08 on top of standard allowance
For your first child (if child is born on or after April 6, 2017) = £231.67 on top of standard allowance
For your second child = £231.67 per child on top of standard allowance
If you have a disabled or severely disabled child = £126.11 or £383.86 on top of standard allowance
If you need help with childcare costs = up to 85% of your costs (up to £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04for 2 or more children)
More than two children
You only get an extra amount for more than two children in the following circumstances:
- You were already claiming for more than two children before April 6, 2017
- You’re renewing a claim for more than two children that stopped within the past six months
- The child or children were born as part of a multiple birth
- The child or chlidren were born as a result of a non-consensual conception (including rape) or conceived when you were in a controlling or coercive relationship
- You’re responsible for a child or children (regardless of the order they joined the household) who are adopted from local authority care; in your care, either formally or informally and it’s likely they would otherwise be looked after by a local authority; a child of your child
How does a disability affect your claim?
You can earn more through Universal Credit if you have a disability or health condition, or if you are a carer.
If you have limited capability for work and work-related activity you get £328.32 on top of the standard allowance
If you have limited capability for work and you started your health-related Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claim before April 3, 2017 you get £126.11 on top of the standard allowance
If you provide care for at least 35 hours a week for a severely disabled person who receives a disability-related benefit you receive £156.45 on top of the standard allowance.
This is on top of any extra amount you get if you have a disabled child.
What benefits is Universal Credit replacing?
Universal Credit applies to people living in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland have a separate system of Universal Credit.
You can get it if you are on low income or out of work.
It has replaced the following benefits.
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Job-Seeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
How do your earnings affect your payments?
People on low incomes can also be eligible for Universal Credit though of course the amount you get will depend on your earnings. The payment will reduce the more you will earn, as you might expect.
For every £1 you earn your payment reduces by 63p .
If you or your partner are responsible for a child or young person, or either of you has a disability, you can earn up to a certain amount before the Universal Credit is reduced.
This is a work allowance, and it is much lower if you get help with housing costs.
If you get Government assistance with housing costs, the monthly work allowance is £198 . This means you can earn up to that amount before any Universal Credit is deducted.
However, if you don’t get Government assistance, you can earn up to £409 a month.
If you earn above those amounts, 63p is deducted from your Universal Credit for every £1 in earnings above the maximum amount.
When will existing benefit claimants get Universal Credit?
Universal Credit has now been applied to all Jobcentres in the UK which means that any new claims go onto the new system.
The Government pilot, as mentioned, will involve 10,000 people at first, starting in July 2019. Everyone else is then expected to be gradually moved to the new system.
Confusion has been a theme of the whole Universal Credit initiative. With the Government’s decision to do a trial first, people started thinking Universal Credit had been scrapped altogether.
In fact, the numbers on UC will double in 2019 as existing claimants move over naturally because their circumstances have changed.
If you would like to calculate what you are entitled to yourself, you can visit the Government website.