Due to Coronavirus, more people are entitled to Universal Credit, are you one of them?

The eligibility rules for Universal Credit have been changed in response to the impact of COVID-19.

If you’re in or out of work, on low income and affected by Coronavirus, you may be able to apply for benefits including Universal Credit.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a benefit payment to help with your living costs. Universal Credit is usually paid monthly. However, for some people in Scotland, payments are made twice a month.

Am I Entitled To Universal Credit?

You may be entitled to Universal Credit if:

  • you’re on a low income or out of work
  • you’re aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re aged 16 to 17)
  • you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
  • you and your partner’s total savings is £16,000 or less
  • you live in the UK

Universal Credit Standard Allowance

Find out how much money will get for Universal Credit for the standard allowance.

Your CircumstancesMonthly Standard Allowance
Single and under 25£251.77
Single and 25 or over£317.82
In a couple and you’re both under 25£395.20 (for you both)
In a couple and either of you are 25 or over£498.89 (for you both)

Please note: there are more circumstances that affect your entitlement to Universal Credit. For example; if you have children, a disability and / or your housing costs.

Please use a Universal Credit calculator to get an accurate estimate of how much money you will get.

Universal Credit Changes

There will be more changes made to Universal Credit on April 6th 2020. The standard allowance for Universal Credit will be increased. The basic element for Working Tax Credit will also be increased. You’ll get £20 more per week in addition to how much money you’re already entitled to.

Jobcentre Appointments Coronavirus Update

For three months, you won’t need to attend any face-to-face Jobcentre appointments. The cancellation of appointments will be reviewed as the circumstances caused by COVID-19 change.

The change to Jobcentre appointments was introduced on Thursday 19 March 2020. You will continue to receive your benefits as normal. But you no longer need to attend Jobcentre appointments to receive benefits.

Can I apply for Universal Credit online?

You can apply for benefits online if you are eligible.

Universal Credit Eligibility

You can check your eligibility at https://www.entitledto.co.uk/

You’ll need accurate and up-to-date information about your:

  • Savings
  • Income, including your partner’s (from payslips, for example)
  • Existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you)
  • Outgoings (such as rent, mortgage, childcare payments)
  • Council tax bill

Are you already claiming Universal Credit? If you think you’ve been affected by coronavirus, please update your journal.

Some Jobcentres are advising claimants not to update their journal. But we recommend that you do, even if it’s just brief notes.

Make it clear how much you have been earning and the activity you’ve been undertaking.

Universal Credit Helpline Waiting Times

Waiting times for the Universal Credit Helpline are very long at the moment.

How will I get Universal Credit payments?

Universal Credit payments are usually paid into your bank, building society or credit union account.

You can only get paid in a different way if you have problems opening or managing an account.

How do weekends and bank holidays affect Universal Credit payments?

If your Universal Credit payment date falls on a weekend or a bank holiday, you’ll be paid on the working day before.

How to claim Universal Credit

You need to apply for Universal Credit online at https://www.universalcredit.service.gov.uk/postcode-checker.

You must have an email address and access to a telephone to claim Universal Credit. The email address will be used to register for your Universal Credit account. You’ll also receive updates about Universal Credit by email.

Universal Credit For Couples

You have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or not. You’ll need to apply together whatever your marital status.

Do I need to have a work coach interview?

You’ll be told if you need to arrange an interview with work coach after you apply for Universal Credit.

To book an interview with a work coach, you’ll need to phone the Universal Credit helpline.

You won’t need to attend a face-to-face appointments unless you don’t have access to the internet or a telephone.

What information do I need to apply for Universal Credit?

You’ll need:

  • your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline for advice if you do not have one)
  • an email address
  • information about your housing costs, for example how much rent you pay
  • details of your income, for example payslips
  • details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
  • details of how much you pay for childcare (if you’re applying for help with childcare costs)

If you do not provide the correct information when you apply, it may affect when you get paid or how much money you get.

You also must verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card

If you do not have the above forms of identification, you may be able to use:

  • permanent residence card
  • UK registration or naturalisation certificate
  • council tax documents

What happens after I’ve completed my application?

After you’ve submitted your application, you will be contacted by DWP. They’ll advise you on what to do next.

If you need help with your application, call the Universal Credit Helping and ask as soon as possible. The sooner you apply for Universal Credit, the sooner you get your first payment.