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What Is Universal Credit?

Universal credit is a payment issued to help UK residents cope with the high cost of living. People who qualify for universal credit cannot work; have been unable to secure employment, or have a low income. If you find yourself in one or more of the above mentioned circumstances, you may be eligible to claim this benefit. Find our more about the requirements, what you can expect to receive, and the necessary steps to make your claim today.

Universal Credit in the UK: how to apply online

Who can apply?

Before you apply, you need to make sure you fulfil certain basic eligibility requirements:

  • • You must be living in the UK
  • • You must have acess to public funds
  • • Be above 18 years of age, although there are certain exceptions for 16- and 17-year-olds
  • • Have less than £16,000 worth of assets, savings, and investments
  • • Be under state pension age

Can students claim universal credit?

The answer depends on your personal circumstances. Full-time students can apply for Universal Credit if any of the following requirements apply:

  • • If you have a disability that limits you from working
  • • If you're 21 or under and studying for any qualification up to A level or an equivalent, but you lack parental support
  • • If you are studying part-time or doing a course for which no student loan or finance is available
  • • If you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
  • • If you’re responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple
  • • If you've reached the state pension age and live with a partner below the state pension age

How to Apply for Universal Credit

If you fulfil the explained above requirements, you may be eligible. You can apply for Universal Credit either:

  • Online. You will need to create an account at Universal Credit Online – Gov.UK to make a claim and complete it within 28 days of creating the account or be forced to start again.
  • By phone. If you are unable to claim it online, you can do it by calling the Universal Credit helpline at 0800 328 5644

If you live with your partner and want to make a claim, you will both have to create accounts, but are allowed to link them together when you claim. If your partner has reached the state pension age, you can still claim your universal credit if you qualify. However, your Universal Credit claim will stop once you attain state pension age.

How much will I get?

The amount issued is a standard allowance. The standard monthly allowance range is broken down like this:

Personal Circumstance Allowance
Single and under 25 £265.31
Single and over 25 £334.91
A couple under 25 £416.45 (for both)
A couple over 25 £525.72 (for both)

Every individual's situation is assessed to account for extenuating or exceptional circumstances. For example, if you need help paying the rent; you are a single parent; you have children; or you have a disability or condition that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for an extra amount.

How do I receive it?

The money is deposited into your bank account. If you are part of the housing plan, you will receive an amount meant to be paid to your landlord. You can use the Universal Credit line if you need help opening a bank account.

Your Responsibilities

When you make a claim to obtain this benefit, you will be assigned a work coach that will help you with your responsibilities. Some of these include:

  • • Writing a CV
  • • Applying for jobs
  • • Attending training
  • • Paying for other housing costs
  • • Informing Universal Credit of any changes in your situation that may arise

Change in circumstances

When making a claim, you get an amount based on your current assessment. Therefore, if anything changes, you must offer the new information to ensure you get the correct amount. You can report these changes by signing into your Universal Credit account and submitting a report.

Some of the most common changes that need to be informed include rent increases; having a child; getting hired; finishing a job or getting fired; moving in with a partner; changing your contact information, for example, email and phone number; moving to a new address; starting to care for a different person, such as a child, or parent; changing your bank details; changes to your health condition; and changes to your salary if you are self-employed.

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