Online universal credit calculators that calculate how much DWP assistance you could get each month
The most recent figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that as of November 2020, 5.8 million people across the UK were claiming universal credit, a benefit intended to help people who are unemployed or in low income. income with daily living expenses. .
As financial uncertainty becomes a bigger reality for many households across Scotland, and with much speculation about an extension of the leave scheme ahead of the March 3 budget, anyone who has never applied for a Social assistance previously may be turned off by the prospect of applying – or automatically assuming that they don’t qualify because they work or have savings.
Fortunately, eligibility for universal credit is straightforward, and it doesn’t take that long to apply online. There are even free, independent, anonymous calculators that can tell you if you’ll qualify and how much you might get – before you apply.
Here’s everything you need to know about universal credit, including eligibility and how to make a claim.
How to apply for universal credit
The UK government says a person can get universal credit if:
You are low income or unemployed
You are 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you are 16 to 17)
You are not of retirement age (or your partner is)
You and your partner have £ 16,000 or less in savings between you
You live in the UK
If you live with your partner, their income and savings will be taken into account, even if they are not eligible for Universal Credit.
Please note that you will not be able to claim any means tested benefits if your capital and savings exceed the limit of £ 16,000.
However, your savings and your capital (or your partner’s savings, capital and income) are not taken into account to claim the “New Style” Job Seeker Allowance (JSA) and this particular benefit. can be obtained at the same time as the Universal Credit – or on its own.
The “New Style” JSA is a membership benefit. This means that you may be able to get it if you have paid enough National Insurance (NI) contributions in the two full tax years preceding the year for which you are applying.
It is paid every two weeks and if you qualify you can get the JSA “New Style” for up to 182 days.
If you are eligible for both “New Style” JSA and Universal Credit, any “New Style” JSA you receive will count as income for Universal Credit.
To apply for Universal Credit visit the gov.uk website here and for more information on applying for Jobseeker’s Allowance read more here.
How much will you be paid?
Universal Credit has undergone significant changes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK government granted an increase of £ 1,000 per year to the benefit to help those in need during the crisis at the start of fiscal year 2020/21.
However, the weekly £ 20 increase is due to end in April 2021 and the UK government has said no decision on a possible extension will be taken until the budget statement is two weeks away.
Different people are entitled to different amounts of Universal Credit, however the UK government has guidelines on what you will be paid, depending on your situation.
Be aware that you must apply as a couple if you and your partner are living together – you don’t have to be married.
All benefits provided by the DWP will increase by 0.5% in April, the amounts below correspond to the current tax break, 2020/21.
What you will be paid each month
- For Singles 25+ – £ 409.89
- For Singles Under 25 – £ 342.72
- For couples aged 25 or over – £ 594.04 (for both of you)
- For those in a relationship where either is under 25 – £ 488.59 (for both of you)
Additional amounts to which you may be entitled
You can get more money on top of your standard allowance if you have children or have a disability.
If you have children
If you have one or two children, you will receive an additional amount for each child.
If you have three or more children, you will receive an additional amount for at least two children.
You can only get an additional amount for more children if one of the following conditions is true:
- Your children were born before April 6, 2017
- You were already applying for 3 or more children before April 6, 2017
How much you will get:
- For your first child – £ 281.25 (born before April 6, 2017), £ 235.83 (born April 6, 2017 or after)
- For your second child and any other eligible child – £ 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% of your costs (up to £ 646.35 for one child and £ 1,108.04 for 2 or more children)
If you have a disability or health problem
How much you will get:
If you have limited capacity for work and work-related activities – an additional £ 341.92 per month
If you have limited work capacity and started your application for Universal Credit or Health Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) before April 3, 2017 – an additional £ 128.25 per month
If you are caring for a severely disabled person
How much you will get
If you provide care for at least 35 hours per week to a severely disabled person who is in receipt of a disability benefit – an additional £ 162.92 per month.
What if you had a job?
There is no limit to the number of hours you can work while applying for universal credit, but only low-income people are eligible, and this threshold depends on individual circumstances.
The amount an active person receives depends on what they earn.
It decreases as someone earns more – for every £ 1 an applicant earns in their work their payout will be reduced by 63p with the aim being for their payouts to gradually decrease until they are financially independent .
That is, unless the person is eligible for a work allowance, which includes those who have responsibility for a child and those whose ability to work is affected by a disability or health problem .
In these circumstances, they will be able to earn up to a certain amount without affecting their benefits.
The fixed amount is £ 292 per month for people who already have extra help to cover accommodation costs, and £ 512 per month for people who do not.
For anything they earn above that amount, the £ 1 to 63 pence rule will apply.
You may be able to get money to help pay your housing costs. The amount you get depends on your age and your circumstances, but the payment can cover rent and some service charges.
If you are a homeowner, you may be able to get a loan to help pay the interest on your mortgage or other loans you have taken out for your home.
What documents do you need to apply for universal credit
You will need:
Contact details for your bank, building society or credit union
An e-mail address
Information about your accommodation, for example the amount of rent you pay
Details of your income, for example payslips
Details of savings and investments, such as stocks or property that you rent
Details of the amount you pay for child care if you are applying for child care expense assistance
Failure to provide the correct information when you apply can affect when you get paid or how much you receive.
Verifying Your Identity Online
You will need an ID for this, for example your:
Debit or credit card
To apply for universal credit, visit the gov.uk website here
You can also use an independent benefit calculator to find out:
These calculators are free, anonymous, and can indicate any benefits you are missing out on.
Where to find help
Scotland Direct Tips
This new online tool is the first to fully integrate vested benefits, including the new Scottish Child Payment.
It provides a free and impartial assessment of entitlement to a range of benefits such as universal credit, crisis grants and support payments.
Information on income related benefits, tax credits, local tax reduction, care allowance, universal credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start working or change your working hours
Policy in practice
Information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, municipal tax reduction, care allowance, universal credit, how they are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start working or change your working hours
Information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, local tax reduction, care allowance, universal credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start working
What you will need
You will need specific information about your:
Income, including that of your partner
Existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you)
Expenses (such as rent, mortgage, child care expenses)
Municipal tax invoice
For more information on universal credit, visit the gov.uk website here.