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Last updated:
30/10/2018

How much can I get?

  1. Overview
  2. What is Universal Credit?
  3. How much can I get?
  4. What if I am working or studying?
  5. What if I care for someone or have children?
  6. What about my housing costs?
  7. How will income, savings and property affect my Universal Credit?
  8. Will the Benefit Cap affect me?
  9. How will I get my Universal Credit payments?
  10. What is the claimant commitment?
  11. Can I appeal if I disagree with a decision?
  12. When will I have to claim?
  13. Next steps

You work out how much Universal Credit (UC) you will get you need to follow the steps below:

Step 1: Add up all the different elements of UC you should get.

Step 2: Work out how much your UC will reduce because of savings or capital.

Step 3: Check the amount is not above the benefit cap.

There are different parts of UC: these parts are sometimes called ‘elements’ and will make up one monthly payment.

There are different parts of UC: these parts are sometimes called ‘elements’ and will make up one monthly payment; we have explained the different elements below. This means you will not get different payments from the following benefits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Tax Credits
  • Income Support.

If you pay council tax you still need to claim Council Tax Support  from your local council.

Each UC element has an assessment period, which is one month. At the end of each assessment period, the DWP calculate your UC for that month.

Standard allowance

The standard allowance is the basic amount of benefit you will get – if you under 25 years old, you will get less than this and any other elements are added on top of this amount.

Single person over 25 - £317.82

Single person under 25 - £251.77

Couple (at least one partner over 25) - £498.89

Couple (both partners under 25) - £395.20

Limited capability for work element (LCW)

The LCW is for people who are too unwell to work at the time of assessment. You will have to do work training and work-related activities to help prepare you for work.

The government have made changes to limited capability for work element (LCW). If you claim after 3rd April 2017, you will not get an extra payment for getting the LCW element and payments will continue at the rate as the standard allowance.

The LCW element is £126.11.

Limited capability for work and work-related activity element (LCWRA)

The LCWRA is for anyone who is too unwell for work and does not have to do work-related activities.

Most people will not get the LCW and LCWRA elements until the three-monthly assessment phase has ended. If you have a terminal illness, you will get the LWCRA element at the start of your UC application.

The LCWRA is £328.32.

Carer element

The carer element is for people who provide a lot of care all the time for someone with a disability. You can get the carer element for Universal Credit whether you get carer’s allowance or not. However, you cannot get the carer element if you are a professional carer and get paid a salary.

The carer element is £156.45.

You can read more about the rates in our What if I care for someone or have children? section.

Child element

You can get the child element if you have one or two children. The child element has two rates:

  • A higher rate for the first child if they were born before 6th April 2017, and
  • A lower rate for your second child or any children born after 6th April 2017

For children born after 6 April 2017, the higher rate will not be available anymore. You will get the lower rate for up to two children in your family, but there are some exceptions to this and you should speak to a welfare adviser if you need more information.

If you have more than two children, you cannot claim Universal Credit and you can claim Child Tax Credit instead. This rule will change in February 2019 and you will be able to start claiming UC.

Child element for the first child is £277.08.

Child element for other children is £231.67.

You can read more about the rates in our What if I care for someone or have children? section.

Disabled child addition

There are two rates for disabled child addition. A child can get only get one rate. The rate will depend on their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim.

You can get the higher rate if your child receives: DLA (high rate care) or PIP (enhanced daily living).

You can get the lower rate if your child receives  any other rate of DLA (low or middle rate care) or PIP (standard daily living).

The higher rate is £383.86.

The lower rate is £126.11.

You can read more about the rates in our What if I care for someone or have children? section.

Childcare costs element

People who work and have to pay for childcare may be able to get 85% of childcare costs up to:

  • £646.35 for one child, or
  • £1,108.04 for two children or more.

You can read more about the rates in our What if I care for someone or have children? section.

Housing costs element

The housing costs element is for people who are responsible for the rent or mortgage payments of their home. UC will replace Housing Benefit  for people who pay rent and it replaces the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme for people with mortgages. People who pay service charges for repairs to public areas in a housing association or council house will get help from UC.

The amount you can get will depend on area that you live, the size of your household and standard interest rates.

You cannot get universal credit if you are in supported exempt accommodation as supported exempt accommodation is a resettlement accommodation you get from a local authority, housing association, registered charity or voluntary organisation and you get care, support and supervision in this accommodation.

You can read more about this in our What about housing costs? section.

Universal Credit Advance Payment

You can ask for an advance of your Universal Credit payment if you will face financial hardship while you wait for your claim to be processed. This includes if you can’t afford to pay your rent or buy food. This will be repaid through your future Universal Credit payments.

To ask for an advance payment, phone the Universal Credit helpline or speak to your job coach.

From February 2018, the six week waiting period for your first payment of Universal Credit will be reduced to five weeks. You will be able to access a month’s advance payment if made within five days of making your claim. This will be repaid over twelve months. As you will need to repay the full amount, it is best to only ask for what you need. 

Amounts

The smallest amount you can borrow is £100. You can get –

-          £348 if you are single

-          £464 if you are part of a couple

-          £812 if you have children

This will depend on whether you can pay the loan back and if you have any savings over £1000.

 

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is Universal Credit?
  3. How much can I get?
  4. What if I am working or studying?
  5. What if I care for someone or have children?
  6. What about my housing costs?
  7. How will income, savings and property affect my Universal Credit?
  8. Will the Benefit Cap affect me?
  9. How will I get my Universal Credit payments?
  10. What is the claimant commitment?
  11. Can I appeal if I disagree with a decision?
  12. When will I have to claim?
  13. Next steps
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