What is Universal Credit and Know its Eligibility Criteria?

Whether you have recently started your career or unable to earn enough money or you have quit your job-in which situation you are, with the help of Universal Credit, you can cover the benefits from the bank for which you are eligible. Get the Overview of the Universal Tax Credit and its existing benefits, the eligibility criteria and lastly how much you will get. 

  • Learn About Universal Credit
  • Working Process of  Universal Credit Work
  • The Key Factors of the Universal  Credit
  • What are the Eligible Criteria for Universal Credit?
  • What is the Minimum Time to Get Universal Credit?
  • How Does Universal Credit Pay?
  • How Much Does it Cost?
  • Discuss on the Work Allowance of Universal Credit
  • List of Unearned Incomes and Their Effects on Universal Credit
  • Can Savings Affect Your Universal Credit?
  • About the Application Procedure for Universal Credit
  • Helping in Claiming your benefits
  • Universal Credit Scam

Learn About Universal Credit

Universal Credit, as most of us, do not hear about it, the first question comes to our mind is that What is Universal credit?

Universal Credit, a benefit payment system, helps those people who are working as well as out of work. Here, you can get six benefits in one payment system. The list of all those six benefits include-

  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Basically, if you want to get your claiming benefits in a simpler way then, Universal Credit exactly does the same. These benefits are called legacy benefits, given by DWP.

Working Process of  Universal Credit Work

Once you get to know about Universal credit, the next question that comes to your mind is how does universal credit work?

As mentioned earlier, universal credit is applicable for those who are already working or out of work. Once you get the universal credit, you can work for a number of hours per week without any limitations. But once you will start earning more, your payment will be reduced gradually.

Earlier, the people who were eligible for Universal credit, whose income was low, used to work for more than 16 hours. As a result, they lost many of their benefits. But the new system ensures that no one has to face such situations and claim their benefits even after working for a number of hours.

As per new rule, income and earnings have been increased whereas you can find a reduction in benefits payments. Even the incentive process for work has become weakened. Only after assessing your monthly incomes, it will be decided whether you will be able to pay the amount in arrears or not.

If you are a new claimant then you need to wait for 35 days to get your first payment. Four weeks will be taken for assessing your last month’s earnings and another extra week to complete the whole payment process.

The Key Factors of the Universal  Credit:

Before you claim for the Universal credit, let’s have a look at some key factors of universal credit. Different countries follow different rules.

  • If you live in England or Wales, Universal credit would allow you to pay your rent on a monthly basis. So, you do not need to pay your rent separately instead you can pay it along with your monthly payment directly to the landlord.
  • In Scotland and Northern Ireland,  there are two ways through which you can pay your rent. One, through your landlord or pay it on your own.
  • Universal Credit offers a special benefit for partners or married couples. It also allows you and your partner to claim Universal credit together. Here, you can get a single bank account that you can use to pay your payments.
  • As mentioned earlier, you can pay Universal credit in arrears and the whole payment process takes five weeks to complete after you claim your first payment.
  • You can even work for hours as much as you want and there are no limits to it.
  • Most of the people make their claims online. So, if you want to claim your benefits, do it before 2023.

Eligibility Criteria for Universal Credit:

There are some criteria that you have to meet before claiming Universal credit. 

  • Your income should be low or you have to be out of work.
  • If you are 18 or over then, you can claim UC. 
  • In case you are claiming UC with your partner, both of you need to be under state pension age.
  • You should have a citizenship of the UK.
  • Less than £16,000 amount must be there in both you and your partner’s savings account.

Though the age limit is 18 but Universal credit grants students whose age is 16 or 17. But these are exceptional cases.

What is the Minimum Time to Get Universal Credit?

You must claim for Universal credit without thinking of the fact whether you are eligible for it or not. You can easily cancel UC once your situation gets improved or you get a new job before completing your application process. At least you could have a second option open through UC until you make your circumstances better. Universal credit helps you to avoid any advanced payment.

With the Debt Advices, you can easily claim your benefits for free and confidentially. In case you need any help, you can easily call us to get our expert advice.

  • We will check whether you are eligible for Universal Credit or not.
  • Complete all your important paperwork and documents to speed up the application.
  • Assistance for completing your application form online.

To get more information about Universal credit, feel free to contact us at any time.

Usually, on the date, you submit your UC application, you will get your first payment. This date of the month is known as the assessment date. 

As UC allows you to pay on a monthly basis and in arrears, you have to wait for five weeks to get your first UC payment. The submission of your application to get your first payment- this whole period of time is called an assessment period. 

Here, we are giving an example to make this process clear to you.

Examples

  • Liza, a working woman, suddenly left her job as she was not satisfied with her job.
  • Soon after she left her job, she claims for Universal credit on the 22nd of June. It means the assessment date is 22nd June and every month on this date, she will get her payment.
  • Now, she has to wait for one calendar month or one assessment period from her assessment date which is 21st July. It is because the payment will be paid in arrears.
  • Another 7 days will be taken to reach the payment into her account. It means on the 29th of July, liza will receive her first payment.
  • In case 29th will be a non-working day then, she gets her payment on the last working day before the holiday.

How Does Universal Credit Pay?

The payment procedure of Universal credit varies from country to country. 

  • In England, Wales and Scotland, it is paid on a monthly basis as well as in arrears. However, in Scotland, you need to get permission for getting your payments in fortnightly payments. 
  • In Northern Ireland, there is a default payment period. It means every fortnight, you can receive your payment. However, the monthly payments system is also available there.

How Much Does it Cost?

There is a basic allowance included in Universal Credit. But apart from this, you can also find other allowances as well. The maintenance cost of your home, heath, disability, and others also included here.

Depending on your income, the cost of the Universal Credit fluctuates. Whether you are working or getting a pension, or if you have other benefits, after assessing your income, the Universal credit will be decided for you. So, if you have savings and capital above £6,000, your Universal Credit will vary.

What Does Work Allowance of Universal Credit Mean?

The amount you earn before your Universal Credit comes into effect is termed as work allowance. To get this work allowance, meet the following criteria.

  • You have your dependents like your children. Or,
  • You are unable to work for many hours due to your illness or disability.

You can work for a number of hours after work allowance entitled to you. In case, you earn and cross the limit of the amount that you are allowed to then, Universal credit will go down. For £1, 63p will be deducted which will be known as earnings taper.

In case you are not eligible for the work allowance, the same amount will be reduced on all your earnings. Statutory Maternity, Paternity, adoption, sick pay are few of the examples of employer’s paid benefits that can be hampered by the effect of earning taper.

List of Unearned Incomes and Their Effects on Universal Credit

The income that is not related to trade or business is called unearned incomes. It means you will be working but you will not be paid any money. From universal credit payment, the unearned income that will be deducted are

  • Pension Income
  • New-style Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • The benefits that Universal Credit is unable to replace
  • ESA or new-style Employment and Support Allowance

The amount that will be deducted is £1 for every unearned income.

There is some unearned income for that no money will be deducted from Universal credit. These are included-

  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Maintenance Payment
  • Child Benefit.
  • Income from boarders and lodgers
  • Disability Living Allowance

Can Savings Affect Your Universal Credit?

If you have made any investments or have any share then you might face an issue with your Universal credit. The universal effect is given if your income is low or out of work, but if you have savings or capital then, this might affect your universal credit.

Application Procedure for Universal Credit?

If you want to claim for universal credit then, you have to visit the official website of Universal credit. Here you can easily find all the details of the application procedure. You can even get all the information that you need to gather for claiming UC. In case you want to apply with your partner then, any of you can fill-up the form. But both of your details will be required to complete the procedure.

Get Help in Claiming Your Benefits

If you are not aware of the application process of Universal Credit and looking for help, money advice service is there for you. We have experts and also dedicated services that will help you in the entire process. So, if you need any help feel free to call us at 0800 046 5868 helpline number. 

If you do not use any computer or are worried about claiming it through it then better you take help from us. Until or unless you send your online form, the process will not start. Better you take assistance from our experts to avoid any delay in the process.

Our experts will fill-up the form and help you in completing all the paperwork on behalf of you. For any extra support, feel free to contact us and learn the application process of Universal credit from our well-skilled advisors.

Universal Credit Scam

If you have already claimed for your Universal credit or planning to claim then, it is important for you to know about the universal credit scams. The scammers target the benefit claimants and offer them low-cost loans. They do so by taking the name of the governments.

These scammers make fake calls to you and post social media ads, government logos to make you believe that they are reliable sources. They will then send you fake links, emails as well to convince you.

Even sometimes they ask your personal IDs, bank details and offer their services to help you in claiming Universal Credit. And in return, they ask you for a huge amount of money as their fees. So, if you get such offers or call, do not get tempted.

In case you have given your personal details, these scammers will make a Universal credit without your knowledge. So never share such information with these frauds else you will not be able to claim for Universal credit.

In case you need any help, do not hesitate and give us a call and rest will be taken care of by us. If you are getting such calls, report it immediately and save yourself.