Universal Credit claims have soared in recent months, as Britons have begun to feel the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The payment can be claimed by eligible people in order to help them cover living costs, and it replaces six other benefits – with these being Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Working Tax Credit.
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The payment itself is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to the claimant.
For example, an individual may be able to get additional amounts in their Universal Credit payment such as if they:
- Have children
- Have a disability or health condition which prevents them from working
- Need help paying their rent.
How much is the Universal Credit standard allowance?
The standard allowance one qualifies for depends on two circumstances – age and relationship status.
For instance, a single person who is under 25 can currently get the monthly standard allowance of £342.72.
The rate for single people who are 25 and over can get £409.89.
People who are in a couple in which both members are under 25, it’s 488.59 (for them both).
This rises to £594.04 (for both), if either partner is 25 or over.
Gov.uk also details a number of different extra monthly amounts which people in the certain aforementioned circumstances may be able to get.
It’s possible to use a benefits calculator in order to find out how much a person could get via Universal Credit – three of which are signposted on the government website.
The websites hosting these independent benefits calculators are entitledto, Policy in Practice, and Turn2us.
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It’s important to be aware that circumstances are assessed every month, and any changes in circumstances can affect how much one is paid for the whole assessment period – rather than the date that the changes are reported.
Another point to take note of when it comes to how much a person gets is that Universal Credit is affected by earnings.
The amount decreases at a taper rate – with this reducing by 63 pence for every £1 earned.
That said, some may be able to get the work allowance – enabling them to keep some of their earnings prior to the Universal Credit payment reducing.
The work allowance may apply if the claimant or their partner is either:
- Responsible for a child or young person
- Living with a disability or health condition that affects their ability to work.
It’s lower if a person gets help with housing costs, with this being £292 per month, while it’s £512 per month for those who don’t.
Gov.uk also points out that the benefit cap may limit that total amount of benefit that a person gets.
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