Due to limits, many people could not work as usual throughout the outbreak. The government established furlough payments and temporary increases in Universal Credit payments. However, when limits are relaxed, such protections are increasingly taken away.

You may still be eligible for Universal Credit payments if you are afraid that your income is inadequate and you may be unable to pay your rent, energy bills, or food and even your secured loans.

These payments are intended to ensure that everyone has enough money to meet their necessities like pension credits. This blog describes how Universal Credit works and how to obtain help applying for it.

The formula for calculating Universal Credit

Formula used for Calculating Universal Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) calculates how much money you are entitled to when applying for Universal Credit.

They do It by calculating how much Universal Credit you’ll need to live on, taking into account things like,

  • how many people live in your house;
  • if you have any health problems or restrictions;
  • whether you pay for childcare or not;
  • if you pay rent on your house

“Maximum Universal Credit” is the name given to the figure.

The DWP next assesses whether you have any other sources of income, such as salary or social assistance. If you earn a salary, you can keep 37 per cent of the net amount (after taxes and national insurance), while the remaining 63 per cent is removed from your Universal Credit.

You may also keep your work allowance if you have one or more dependent children or cannot work due to health issues.

If your maximum Universal Credit is £800 per month and your monthly take-home income is £500, you would be entitled to a Universal Credit top-up of 63 per cent of your take-home pay.

£315 is 63% of your take-home income of £500. Deducting £315 from your maximum Universal Credit amount of £800 yields the amount of Universal Credit you are eligible to. You are entitled to £484 in Universal Credit based on Its calculation.

Therefore, your total income would be £985, consisting of your £500 take-home wage plus the £485 Universal Credit amount.

How to apply for Universal Credit?

Apply for Universal Credit online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit. If you need help applying for Universal Credit online, call the Universal Credit helpline at 0800 328 5644.

Advance payments are accepted

Advance Payments are Accepted

You won’t receive your first payment for around a month after you apply since Universal Credit is paid in arrears monthly. If you don’t have enough money to live on in the meanwhile, you might ask for an advance payment.

On the other hand, these advances must be paid back and deducted from your monthly Universal Credit payments once they start.

What is the status of your immigration?

You cannot get Universal Credit if you have a “no recourse to public funds” (NRPF) condition as part of your immigration status or if you are an illegal migrant in the UK.

You may apply for Universal Credit if you are European or have a European partner with settled status. However, you must guarantee that you meet the eligibility standards.

If you have pre-settled status, you must show that you have the legal right to work or live in the UK as a family member of an EU citizen. It may be challenging to prove your right to live in the UK, but you may seek advice from a Citizens’ Advice Bureau if you are doubtful.

Additional sources of income

Additional Source of Income

If you get Universal Credit, you must notify the DWP of any additional income so that they can appropriately calculate the amount of Universal Credit top-up you are entitled to.

If the DWP determines that you have unreported extra income, they may decide that your Universal Credit has been overpaid. In certain situations, they may require you to repay overpayments. They may also investigate if you lied about your other income or were ignorant about what you needed to disclose.

Looking after your claim

You’ll get an online account after you’ve applied for Universal Credit. Its account is a messaging system that allows you and the DWP to communicate about your claim.

If the DWP evaluates your claim and concludes that you might work and earn more money than now, you may need to look for new employment. Your payments may be sanctioned if you do not satisfy the work-related criteria for Universal Credit, resulting in a decrease in your benefits.

Many Universal Credit decisions are subject to “required review,” including penalty rulings. Citizens’ Advice Bureaux (CAB) and other organisations may be able to help.

Contributory benefits

You may be entitled to two contributing advantages if you worked and paid national insurance in the preceding two tax years,

Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA)

  • If you are jobless and looking for employment, you may be eligible for JSA.
  • JSA applications may be filed online at https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/application-new-style-jsa.

What is the link between ESA and JSA, and Universal Credit?

These contributing benefits are deemed income under Universal Credit, resulting in a decrease in Universal Credit of the amount mentioned above.

ESA and JSA are not means-tested, so they might be a helpful way to supplement your income if your salary and savings are too high to qualify for Universal Credit.

If your income and savings are insufficient to qualify for a Universal Credit “top-up,” it is vital that you apply since it covers things like rent and child care. Your contributions do not cover these areas of your life.

The DWP may assess whether you are also eligible for a Universal Credit top-up when applying for ESA online. Contact the Universal Credit hotline at 0800 328 5644 if you need help with your online claim. You should go to your closest Job Centre if you need help claiming JSA online.


Universal Credit is a benefit that may assist you if you work yet to earn a low income or are jobless. We’ve spoken about how Universal Credit varies from other uses, how much you’ll get, and how to apply.

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