Collective benefits for working single claimants, couples, families with children in England. Eligibility, amount, self employed claimants and benefit cap. Self-employed people can also be eligible.

Universal Credit includes the following benefits

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
Housing Benefit
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Income Support

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Eligibility

You could be eligible to receive universal credit as a single claimant, couple without children, couple or single parent living with children. As a couple, you have to apply together if you live together. You do not have to be married.

You should also meet the following criteria:

  • You are over 18 years old.
  • you are on a low income or out of work
  • If you live with your partner you must apply together
  • Your savings is less than £16,000 also per couple if you apply as couple.
  • You are either a British citizen or have a settled or pre-settled status in the UK
  • Don’t apply for any Benefits if your visa says “no recourse to public funds” or if you are subject to immigration control and therefore you have a limit to the length of your stay. It could affect your right to stay in the UK. You can contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help.

How much you can get?

You are Monthly standard allowance
Single and under 25 £342.72
Single and 25 or over £409.89
In a couple and you’re both under 25 £488.59 (for you both)
In a couple and either of you are 25 or over £594.04 (for you both)

If you have children

How much you’ll get Extra monthly amount
For your first child £281.25 (born before 6 April 2017)
£235.83 (born on or after 6 April 2017)
For your second or more child £235.83 per child

 

If you need help with childcare costs up to 85% of your costs (up to £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04 for 2 or more) provided that you use approved childcare e.g.:

  • registered childminder,
  • playscheme,
  • nursery or club
  • childminder from Ofsted-registered agency
  • registered school

There is a total maximum amount you can get, this is called Benefit Cap. See what benefits you are entitled to and how much you can get – entitledto or Turn2us.

Application

What you need:


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  • Bank account details
  • email address
  • National Insurance Number
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of settled or pre-settled status if you are not British
  • If you work, you will need: your employment contract, statements of earnings or payslips. The same is required from your partner if you are applying as a couple.
  • If you are self employed, you will need your tax returns, accounts and any business plan, Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). You may also need to show your customer and supplier lists, receipts, invoices and marketing materials.

Apply online – claim Universal Credit. For help you can call Universal Credit helpline telephone 0345 600 0723 or contact Citizen Advice Bureau.

The final stage for claiming universal credit is an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus.
If your circumstances change, you must report it to your Jobcentre.

Claiming universal credit as self employed

You will not need to be searching for a job as long as your business and earnings are growing, otherwise you’ll need to look for other work. If you’re newly self-employed started your business within 12 months, you may be eligible for a start up period of up to 12 months. In any way you need to report your earnings from your business at the end of each month.This includes:

  • total amount received
  • total amount of expenses, such as travel costs, stock, equipment and tools, clothing and office costs
  • tax and National Insurance contribution you paid
  • how much you paid into your pension

Benefit cap

The maximum benefits amount you can receive is:

  • If you are a couple or a single parent living with children, you can get up to £442.31 per week if you live in London and £384.62 per week living outside of London.
  • If you are single person, you can get up to £296.35 per week if you live in London and £257.69 per week living outside of London.

For further advice, please contact your local Citizen Advice Bureau.