There are a lot of cases where people find it difficult to pay for their basic needs and are in dire need of monetary aid. For such people, the government offers various types of benefits. It’s not that they don’t provide such type of help any more, but they have started to pay all the benefits that apply to a person at the same time under the name of Universal Credit.
This is arguably a better arrangement and has made it easier for both the people availing it and the government. So, if you’re eligible for one or more benefits, you can apply for them. You’d generally receive the payments every month. Furthermore, the amount you’ll be paid would differ based on your circumstances. To know what you’ll get, you have to check which benefits apply to you and how it works and how much is Universal credit.
What expenses can it help you with?
As you know, there are different benefits included in Universal Credit. You must claim this when more than one of them applies in your case. That way, you’ll be able to save a significant amount of time that you’d have spent applying for, each of them separately. As for the benefits you’ll get, it will be of a wide range related to different expenses, ranging from housing to child care and many more. This combined payment has replaced 6 other types that were required to be claimed separately in the past. So, how much is Universal credit?
What if you’re already receiving the benefits separately?
A lot of people were already receiving the payments separately from the government when they were replaced by a single one. So, if you’re facing the same situation, you’re not alone. You can and have to continue to receive them separately until they reach the end of the fixed period. If you want to renew the claim, you’ll have to apply for UC, but this time a new one, instead of the credit you’ve been receiving.
What are the eligibility criteria for getting a Universal Credit?
The eligibility that you have to fulfil to avail of Universal credit is quite simple. You have to be an adult, which is 18 years or above. Also, you should not be aged above what is decided as the pension age by the state. So, only people within this age group can get Universal Credit.
In addition to that, it is available only to people who are either unemployed or have low income. If you have a partner, you can avail it only if both of you do not have a combined savings of more than £16,000.
In case it exceeds this amount, you can’t apply for this benefit even if you fulfil the other criteria. Moreover, you also have to be a resident of Britain. You should be able to tick all of them before you can claim Universal Credit.
What to do if you’re below 18 but need benefits?
In many cases, someone below the minimum age requirements needs monetary assistance. In this case, how much is Universal credit? If that’s the case with you, you might be able to apply for it. However, you have to fulfil a different set of conditions first.
First, you have to be at least 16 years of age. Nobody below that can apply for any kind of payment. You have to be responsible for taking care of someone who is disabled. You can also apply, if you’re caring for a child, be it someone else’s or your own. In addition to that, those who don’t have any kind of support from their parents are eligible for it as well.
Information that you need to provide in the application
When you apply for UC, you would have to provide all the relevant information regarding your condition. You are required to provide them with the details of your income and savings.
In addition to that, you’ll also have to provide all information regarding your account in the bank or building society. In case, you live in a rented place, you also have to include the amount that you pay as rent.
Not only that, but you also have to let them know of any place that you rented out yourself. Apart from that, you’ll be required to give the details of all your investments as well. It is highly essential to provide all the correct information. Moreover, you also need to provide identity proof. Your passport or driving licence would be enough for that purpose.
What happens to the benefits if you reach the pension age?
To be eligible for UC, you have to be aged between 18 years, 16 in some cases, and the pension age. So, after you fall out of this group, you’ll stop getting the payments. However, there might be a way to keep it going. For that, you should have a partner and one of you should be within the age limit.
In such a case, you’ll receive UC as a couple. However, there’s nothing to worry about if that doesn’t apply in your case. You can still apply for some other benefits that would still be open to you. For example, pension credit or housing benefit.
What is the standard allowance?
No matter which of the payments apply to you, you’ll get a standard amount based on your circumstance. All the other money that you’re paid can be seen as being additional sums to this. So, how much standard allowance do you receive? It can be divided based on two age groups — one aged 25 or above it, and the other below it.
If you are in the first group and live with a partner, you’ll get £594.04 per month. In case you’re single, you’ll get £409.89. If you’re from the second group, you’ll receive £342.72, if you’re single and £488.59 if you have a partner.
It must be noted that you’ll receive UC jointly, only if your partner belongs to the same age group as you do. Moreover, the amount you’re paid is subjected to change.
What should you do if your circumstances change?
Naturally, you won’t be facing the same conditions forever that you were facing at the time you made the claim. With that, the payment you receive will change as well, then the general question arrives how much is Universal credit. Now, it is your responsibility to inform the concerned authorities about it in certain cases. These include any changes in your address, career, contact number, bank account, etc.
In addition to that, you also have to inform about any improvement or deterioration of your health. If you just had a child or have taken up the responsibility of one, the authorities need to know that as well. In case, you live in a rented place, you have to keep them updated on the rent that you pay. Based on that, the amount you get paid might be increased, if required. In case, you run a business, you also have to tell them about any changes in your income.
Once again, you must provide the correct details regarding these matters. Otherwise, you would probably face action. However, they won’t be able to start any legal proceeding in this case.
Can you receive other benefits alongside it?
Apart from Universal Credit, you might be eligible to avail of other types of financial assistance, as well. In case, you’re wondering, yes, you can apply only for some of them and receive them alongside the ones that you’re currently getting.
They mostly include the ones that are based on your income. In addition to that, you can also receive the maternity allowance, if that applies to you. However, you must note that for every pound that you get from these benefits, you’ll lose one from the Universal Credit. So, you might want to claim the other ones only after proper consideration.
How long will you have to wait before the payment starts?
From what the regulations are, it seems like you have to wait for quite some time after you make the claim. You have to wait for a month, specifically 5 weeks before you receive your first payment. This can be a little inconvenient, and you might need help with some expenses. That’s why you must make the claim as soon as possible.
Can you get an advanced payment?
Even though you’re supposed to make the claim as early as possible, you might not succeed in doing so. In that case, there is a good chance that you’ll need help with some costs, while the payment hasn’t even started yet. For such situations, you can request an advanced payment.
By doing that, you can get a full month’s benefit money, before it’s scheduled to arrive. However, you have to repay the amount within a year. Further, you need not do anything for that, they would recover it from your payment itself, in small parts.