How much Universal Credit will you get?
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How much you’ll get depends on your personal circumstances, and the standard amount can be topped up if you have children, have a disability, or are having problems paying rent.
The standard Universal Credit allowances are as follows:
|Your personal circumstances||Monthly standard allowance|
|Single and aged under 25||£342.72|
|Single and aged 25 or over||£409.89|
|In a couple where you're both aged under 25||£488.59*|
|In a couple where at least one of you is aged 25 or over||£594.04*|
As we mentioned a moment ago, the amount of Universal Credit you receive can increase depending on other personal factors.
This typically includes caring for children, having a disability or needing help with housing costs, and could increase your monthly payments by several hundred pounds. More information on the specifics of the extra allowances is available here.
How is Universal Credit paid?Universal Credit payments usually go straight into your bank account every month. Your first instalment will usually take around five weeks to arrive, although if you're struggling with living costs in the meantime, you can apply for an advance while you wait for the initial payment.
After your first payment, you’ll receive your payments on the same day each month (although in Scotland you can be paid twice a month if you'd prefer), and you’ll also get a monthly statement detailing how much you’ll receive.
For claimants that are working part-time, how often your employer pays you can also affect how you receive your payments. This is because your wages can affect the assessment periods, although, unless you've been notified to say otherwise, this shouldn’t affect the amount you receive. See here for more info.
How to apply for Universal Credit
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You should be able to complete your Universal Credit application online, but make sure you're prepared – you'll need a fair amount of personal information to hand, including:
- Your bank account details
- Housing information, such as how much rent you pay
- Income details, such as payslips
- If you have any savings or investments, including shares and property
- How much you pay for childcare (if you're applying for help with this).
If you're unable to apply online, particularly if you have a disability that makes the process difficult, you can call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644. It's also recommended that you dial this number if you have any questions or problems with your application.
And, if you disagree with a decision made concerning your application for Universal Credit, you can make an appeal.
Apply for Universal Credit »
Should you claim Universal Credit?There’s a bit of a stigma surrounding claiming benefits, but you shouldn’t think twice about applying – if you're out of work, we’d strongly advise you to claim.
The extra money could really help you with costs such as attending job interviews or buying suitable clothes, and when you claim Universal Credit you could get some great advice from your Jobcentre Plus advisor.
What's more, claiming Universal Credit could also entitle you to free prescriptions and discounted travel.
So, although it's best to view Universal Credit as a short-term arrangement while you try to get work, claiming this benefit could actually prove to be the difference between finding work and staying unemployed!
Can you get Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance? #1 #1