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What is universal credit

  • Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It is paid monthly - or twice a month for some people in Scotland.

Universal credit, who is eligible

  • Anyone over the age of 18 (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
  • If you or your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
  • If you are under State Pension age (or your partner is)
  • If you are on a low income or out of work
  • If you live in the UK

How to find out how much Benefit you will received

    Use an independent benefits calculator to find out:
  • what benefits you could get
  • how to claim
  • how your benefits will be affected if you start work

Benefit Calculators

    You can use these free anonymous benefit calculators which have replaced the Benefits Adviser service.
  • entitledto for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work
  • turn2us for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours
  • calculatorfor information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit, how these are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours

What type of information is needed

  • An accurate information about your saving is needed
  • Your income, including your partner’s (from payslips, for example) is needed
  • An existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you) is needed
  • Your outgoings (such as rent, mortgage, childcare payments) is needed
  • Your council tax bill is needed

Who cannot claim

    You are not eligible to use the calculators if you’re under 18, and they will not give accurate results if you’re:

A PRISONER OR ON REMAND

  • Who is sent to prison or a young offenders’ institution
  • Who is in custody awaiting trial (on remand)
  • And You must tell the Tax Credit Office about prison sentences
  • You cannot claim State Pension while you’re in prison
  • You can get help from a benefits adviser to suspend or close down benefits you’re no longer able to claim if you go to prison or on remand. If your partner or child has gone to prison or is on remand, you must tell whoever pays your benefits and find out:
  • if your benefit claims will be affected
  • if you can claim other benefits
  • You may still be entitled to benefits if your partner has gone to prison, as long as you satisfy the benefit entitlement conditions in your own right.

A STUDENT

Student finance
  • You may be able to borrow money to help pay for university or college tuition fees and to help with living costs.
  • You might get extra money on top of this, for example if you’re on a low income, are disabled or have children
  • not a British or Irish citizen
  • on strike

LIVING ABROAD

Claim benefit abroad
  • living permanently in residential care or a nursing home

Apply for Universal Credit online

  • You have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together. You do not need to be married
  • The Universal Credit team might phone you after you’ve sent your application if they need more information or if you cannot verify your identity online.
  • You cannot claim Universal Credit and tax credits at the same time. If you get tax credits, they will stop when you or your partner applies for Universal Credit. Check how tax credits and Universal Credit affect each other

What you need to apply

  • your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
  • an email address
  • housing and universal creditfor example how much rent you pay
  • details of your income, for example payslips
  • details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
  • details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
  • If you do not provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid or how much you get. You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card For more information on universal credit and eligibility, please go to universal credit
    Information source: universal credit