Universal Credit: Expert discusses benefits of claiming
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Universal Credit provides Britons with monthly payments to help make ends meet, which can greatly vary depending on their circumstances. Meeting these specific requirements and sticking to one’s claimant commitments could see Britons receiving over £6,000 every year.
Universal Credit is a benefit for those looking for work or on a low income and mainly takes into account one’s expenses and income to decide the rate they will receive.
To claim, Britons must meet all of the below criteria:
- Live in the UK
- Aged 18 or over
- Under the state pension age
- Have £16,000 or less in money, savings and investments.
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens staying in the UK may need settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to get Universal Credit.
Additionally, claimants living with their partners will need to make a joint claim for the entire household regardless of whether their partner is actually eligible.
This means that the amount claimants receive are also impacted by their partner’s income and savings.
If only one person in a household has reached state pension age they must still claim Universal Credit as a couple although the claim will stop when both parties reach state pension age.
Britons who meet any of the following criteria whilst being in full-time education can also make their claim for Universal Credit:
- They live with a partner who is eligible for Universal Credit
- They are responsible for a child as a single person or a couple
- They reached state pension age but live with a partner who has not.
Britons under the age of 21 and studying any qualification up to or equivalent of A levels without parental support can also claim Universal Credit.
Certain Britons can also make a claim if they are aged 16 or 17 so long as at least one of the following apply to their situation:
- They have a health condition or disability with medical evidence
- Caring for a severely disabled person
- Responsible for a child
- Living with a partner who is eligible for Universal Credit and have responsibility for a child
- Are pregnant and expecting a baby within the next 11 weeks
- They’ve had a baby in the last 15 weeks
- Do not have parental support.
Universal Credit is made up of standard allowances, which is the general rate one will receive depending on their circumstances, plus any extra amounts the person may qualify for.
In terms of standard allowances, those under the age of 25 will receive £257.33 per month if they are single and £403.93 if they are in a couple and both parties are under 25.
Single claimants over the age of 25 can receive £324.84 and couples can receive £509.91.
Claimants are able to get extra amounts depending on their situation.
Having children will increase the amount claimants receive. The rate of which depends on circumstances such as when the child or children were born.
An additional amount is added for any disabled or severely disabled child regardless of when they were born or how many other children one has.
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