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Universal Credit UK: what is it and how does it work? Universal Credit, United Kingdom Universal Credit , is a subsidy that is paid to all people who regularly live in the UK and who meet certain requirements.

 The Universal Income in the UK is paid to those who regularly live in this country but have problems making ends meet. Therefore it can be paid to those who work but earn too little, to anyone with dependent children, to those who have difficulty working or paying the expenses related to their home.

In this article I want to explain how it works, how to apply and the requirements for those who can, and cannot, apply for Universal Credit.

Can you apply?

What is Universal Credit in the UK? The Universal Credit of the United Kingdom is a subsidy that is paid to all people living in the country, and who enjoy certain requirements, to support the various monthly expenses, such as:

  • maintenance of one or more dependent children;
  • expenses related to a disability or health problems;
  • expenses related to the payment of the rent.

It was created to help all those who live permanently in the United Kingdom and who have problems meeting all their expenses.

Indeed, the official law of the British Government on Universal Credit underlines that it is a subsidy paid in case you have too little monetary income.

This definition highlights that Universal Credit is given to all those with low incomes, therefore not necessarily people who are not working or who do not receive any type of income at all.

Generally speaking, we can say that Universal Credit can be either a full subsidy or a compensatory income subsidy.

How it used to be

The UK Universal Income is a fairly recent subsidy that has replaced several other subsidies that existed before in the country, such as:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

All people who were taking one of the benefits indicated in the list above do not need to do anything as they will automatically start receiving Universal Credit.

How does Universal Credit work in the UK? The Universal Credit of the United Kingdom is nothing more than a payment that is made regularly (monthly or bimonthly) and all those who are entitled to it.

The sum is calculated according to your requirements and can be your only income as well as a supplement to your salary if this is too low.

For example, based on your working wages, calculated on the basis of the minimum wage in the UK or on your employment contract, you can apply for this subsidy or not.

What benefits can I claim if I live in the UK?

If you live legally in the UK you can apply for different types of benefits depending on your situation.

In this regard, I advise you to use the Benefits Calculators created by the British Government which allows you to calculate any benefits you are entitled to, and how to request them, by simply entering some data.

The circumstances related to the application of Universal Credit are calculated and updated every month as required by the regulation related to the Change of Circumstances of Universal Credit .

How much is Universal Credit?

Based on current laws, the amount of Universal Credit is redistributed as follows:

CircumstanceMonthly amount
Single person under 25 years old£342.72
Single person over 25 years old£409.89
Couple under 25 years old£488.59
Couple over 25 years old£594.04

How do I get paid?

Please note that depending on your individual situation you may be granted a higher or lower amount, and the above mentioned sums do not include accomodation, which is covered too.

How is Universal Credit paid?

Universal Credit is paid monthly by direct credit to the bank account of the requesting party.

When is the first payment made?

The first payment for Universal Credit is made within 5 weeks after the application.

After the first payment, the next ones will take place regularly on the same day for each month.

Apply for Universal Credit for household expenses

People who have money problems related to housing costs can apply for Universal Credit Housing Costs .

What do I need to apply

The application for Universal Credit must be made online at the official website of the British Government. Documents needed to apply for Universal Credit in the UK:

  • information relating to your identity (passport, driving license or credit/debit card);
  • details of your bank account;
  • an email address;
  • information about the house you live in (such as the cost of the rent);
  • information relating to your income;
  • information relating to your savings and any investments;
  • information relating to the expenses of dependent children if such exist.

Once you have this information you can apply for Universal Credit .

You must apply as a couple if you live together with your partner, this also applies to unmarried couples. After your application you may be contacted by the Universal Credit Team if they need more information about your case.


Universal Credit UK: What are the requirements? To receive the UK Government Universal Credit you must live in the UK and have a low monthly income.

Keep in mind that the requirements for obtaining Universal Credit do not take into consideration the number of dependent children. The number of children you have does not affect whether or not you can apply but will have an impact on the amount you are going to receive, always increased for those with one or more dependent children.

But let’s see in detail the requirements to apply for Universal Credit according to the laws in force in the United Kingdom.

Can you apply...?

What are the requirements to apply for Universal Credit? Universal Credit can be requested by:

  • who receives too little income from work;
  • who is at least 18 years old (with some exceptions in which it is extended to those who are 16 years old);
  • who is not retired, or in State Pension Age ;
  • those who have less than £16,000 of savings which are also calculated with those of their partner;
  • who lives in the UK.

Who can’t close Universal Credit

  • people who do not enjoy the above requirements;
  • people who already receive the Severe disability Premium (disability benefit);
  • people who have received the Severe Disability Premium in the last month or who have yet to receive it.

Your partner’s income

Please note that your partner’s income influences your application for Universal Credit.

Students can apply for Universal Credit

Full-time students can apply for Universal Credit if they meet the above requirements.