What is Universal Credit and How to Apply?
What is Universal Credit and How to Apply? What are the Requirements for Applying for Universal Credit? How to Apply for Universal Credit? How Much are Universal Credit Payments?
Universal credit is a type of social assistance that has been gradually implemented in the UK since 2013. Universal credit is a payment given to low-income or unemployed people. Universal credit aims to combine six different social benefits into a single payment. These social benefits are
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Working tax credit
- Child tax credit
- Housing benefit
Universal credit varies depending on your income, assets and family situation. It can be between 500 and 1000 pounds per month on average1. To get universal credit, you need to meet some criteria such as being over 18, under retirement age and legally living in the.
What are the Requirements for Applying for Universal Credit?
- You must be over 18 years old (in some cases you can apply at 16 or 17).
- You must be under retirement age (you can check your retirement age here).
- You must legally live in the UK (in some cases foreign nationals can also apply).
- You must be low-income or unemployed (your working hours and income may be limited).
- The total value of your assets must not exceed 16 thousand pounds (some assets may not be counted).
How to Apply for Universal Credit?
- Create an account online and fill out the application form. To fill out the form, you need to have some documents ready, such as your identity information, bank account number, income and asset information, housing situation and family information.
- When you complete your application, make an appointment to see a work coach. Before going to the appointment, have the documents ready to verify your identity.
- At the appointment, sign a commitment with your work coach that shows that you are ready to work. The commitment includes your job search activities, participation in education or development courses, and use of other support services.
- When your application is approved, start receiving your universal credit payments. Your payments are made monthly and usually start within five weeks of your application date.
- While receiving universal credit, update your work situation, income and family situation regularly. If there is any change in this information, report it from your online account or your work coach. Otherwise, your payments may be interrupted or reclaimed.
How Much are Universal Credit Payments?
Universal credit payments vary depending on your personal situation. Your payments are calculated based on the following factors2:
Basic payment: This is the standard part of universal credit. It varies depending on your age, marital status and number of children. For example, for a single person over 25 years old, the monthly basic payment is 409.89 pounds.
- Additional payment: These are the additional parts of universal credit. They are paid for your housing costs, child care costs, disability or illness, or having a disabled or ill child. For example, for a person living in rented accommodation, the monthly housing benefit payment varies depending on the rent amount.
- Income reducer: This is the reduced part of universal credit. It is paid for working or having another income. For example, for a working person, the monthly income reducer payment varies depending on their income.