Universal Credit rise: What am I entitled to? How much can I get?

Universal Credit increases in April 2020 will see around 2.5 British households better off after a five-year freeze on the amount payable. The payment is aimed to assist those who are on a low income or out of work with living costs. But just how much could you get? Express.co.uk has all the answers.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a monthly or bi-monthly payment designed to assist you with your living costs.

The benefit for those on a low income or out of work replaced several other benefits including:

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

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Who is eligible for Universal Credit?

You may be able to get Universal Credit if:

  • You are on a low income or out of work
  • You are 18 or over or fit one of the exceptions for 16 and 17-year-olds
  • You are under State Pension age
  • You and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
  • You live in the UK.

You can check your eligibility using the Government’s benefits calculator here.

How much can you get?

Universal Credit payments are made up of a standard allowance with any additional amounts which apply to you on top.

You may be entitled to more money if you:

  • Have children
  • Have a disability or health condition which prevents you from working
  • Need assistance with paying your rent.

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Your Universal Credit payment will depend on your earnings and circumstances, which are assessed each month.

Changes in your circumstances can affect how much you’re paid for the whole assessment period, not just from the date you report them.

The standard allowance is as follows:

  • For those who are single and under 25: £342.72 a month
  • For those who are single and 25 or over: £409.89 a month
  • For those in a couple where both people are under 25: £488.59 for you both
  • For those in a couple where both people are 25 or over: £594.04 for you both.

How much extra can you get if you have children?

If you have one or two children you will receive an extra amount for each child.

If you have three or more children you will receive an additional sum for at least two children.

You may only get an extra amount for more children if the following is true:

Your children were born before April 6, 2017.

You were already claiming for three or more children before April 6, 2017.

Other exceptions apply which can be found here.

The amount you get for each child is as follows:

  • For your first child: £281.25 if born before April 6, 2017 or £235.83 if born on or after April 6, 2017.
  • For your second child and any other eligible children: £235.83 per child
  • If you have a disabled or severely disabled child: £128.25 or £400.29
  • If you need help with childcare costs: Up to 85 percent of your costs, up to £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04 for two or more children.

How much more can you get if you are disabled?

If you have limited capability for work and work-related activity you can get £341.92.

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: £128.25.

If you care for a severely disabled person and provide care for at least 35 hours a week for a severely disabled person who receives a disability-related benefit you are entitled to £162.92 extra.

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