Due to recent developments with Covid-19 also known as Coronavirus, we have put together a simple Q&A to make all Syfters aware of Universal Credit, what it is, the benefits and how to find out if you are eligible for a monthly credit allowance.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a payment that helps with your living costs, those eligible are able to receive a monthly payment or bi-weekly payment if you live in Scotland. The GOV UK website states that you may be eligible for Universal Credit if you are on low income or currently out of work.
Am I eligible?
You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
- You’re on a low income or out of work
- You’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- You’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
- You and your partner have £16,000 or less in combined savings
- You live in the UK
How much will I receive if I’m eligible?
|Your Circumstances||Monthly 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)|
If you are eligible for Universal Credit it’s important to note this is not a guaranteed monthly payment, your circumstances are assessed every month before the credit is paid into your bank account.
Find out the credit amount you may be eligible for here
Can I apply if I’m not a British Citizen?
You can apply for universal credit if you have been granted settled status through the EU settlement scheme.
To apply for Universal Credit you need to show:
- you have a right to claim benefits in the UK – this is called a ‘right to reside’ and depends on things like your work, family and personal situation
- the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and you plan to stay – this is known as being ‘habitually resident’
If you do not provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid or how much you get.
You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example, your:
- driving licence
- debit or credit card
For more information and to see if you are eligible, please click here.
This sounds great, how do I apply?
If you are eligible for Universal Credit and wish to make a claim, we advise you to take a look at Citizen’s Advice for great information and tips on the application process.
Are there any changes to the application process because of the Coronavirus outbreak?
The government has postponed all face-to-face medical assessments until June. If you can’t go to an appointment because you’re ill or are following guidance to ‘self-isolate’, you’ll need to use your online journal to explain why you can’t go. You can do this when you set up an account online.
If you are affected by Coronavirus you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a jobcentre.
Find out more about the interview process on Citizens Advice here.
Are there other benefits I can access?
Via the GOV UK website, you are also able to see what benefits you may be entitled to, how to claim them and how your benefits will be affected when and if you start to work. Please see the benefits calculator here.
Please be aware that Universal Credit does replace other benefits you may already receive or have in place such as:
- Child Tax Credits
- Housing Benefits
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credits