Universal Credit is a UK scheme to help unemployed Britons or those on a low income. It is paid monthly, although it may be paid twice a month for some in Scotland. A person may be able to claim Universal Credit if they are on a low income or out of work, and they and their partner have £16,000 or less in savings between them.
It’s vital Britons always update the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if their circumstances change.
This is to make sure you get the correct amount of money every month.
The government explains online: “You need to report changes to your circumstances so you keep getting the right amount each month.
“Your claim might be stopped or reduced if you do not report a change of circumstances straight away.”
A change of circumstance can be as a result of any of the following:
– Finding or finishing a job
– Having a child
– Moving in with your partner
– Starting to care for a child or disabled person
– Moving to a new address
– Changing your bank details
– Your rent going up or down
– Changes to your health condition
– Becoming too ill to work or meet your work coach
– Changes to your earnings (only if you’re self-employed)
These changes can be reported by signing in to your Universal Credit account.
Not declaring altered circumstances could mean you actually miss out on money.
Telling the DWP late and leaving it until after the end of the assessment period may mean you won’t get the right amount.
However, even if you think reporting the change may lower your payments, it’s key you do declare it.
You will not save money by delaying telling the DWP.
The later changes in circumstances are reported, the more likely it is the DWP will have overpaid you.
This will result in you having to pay more benefits back.
Wilfully giving wrong information or failing to admit to a change in circumstances could see you taken to court, the government warns.
How much is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to them.
It’s possible to use an independent benefits calculator online in order to see how much one could get.
How much Universal Credit a person gets will depend on earnings.
That’s because the payment will reduce as a person earns more – for every £1 a person earns their payment reduces by 63p.
It may be that some people can earn a certain amount before their Universal Credit is reduced under the “work allowance”.
If a person is single and under the age of 25, their monthly standard allowance is £251.77. This rises to £317.82 if they are single and 25 or older.
Those in a couple in which both people are under 25 get £395.20 (for both people). It’s £498.89 (for both) for a couple in which either person is 25 or older.
Universal Credit is set to rise in April 2020 by 1.7 percent in line with inflation, following the end to the benefits freeze.