What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is for people who are on a low income or out of work. It is usually paid as a single monthly payment to a whole household, and can include help towards childcare and housing costs. While self-employed people have always been able to access this scheme, the conditions to access it have been relaxed for the rest of the Coronavirus lockdown period.
Am I eligible?
You can apply for Universal Credit if you are on a low income or or facing significant lack of work due to COVID-19. Most self-employed drivers will be eligible for this scheme.
How much will I get?
You will first calculate the maximum amount which you are eligible to claim under the Universal Credit scheme. Deductions will then be made from this amount based on your personal circumstances such as how much you hold in savings. You will be paid the total amount that remains, capped at a maximum of £23,000 per year if you have children.
For example if you are 35, live with your partner and have two children, you will be eligible for the standard monthly allowance of £498, the monthly childcare allowance of £508 and a housing payment that is dependent on your circumstances.
Once this is calculated, the government will then look at whether you have any other earnings or sources of income, savings or investments.
Visit How much Universal Credit can I get? to understand exactly how much you can claim from this scheme.
What do I need to make a claim?
- Details of all your income, such as existing benefits, tax credits, earnings from employment and your pensions
- Details of your partner’s income if you’re married, in a civil partnership or living with someone as a couple. You will be assessed as a couple
- Information on any savings you have
- How much you pay in Council Tax per year and whether you get any discounts, reductions or exemptions
- Details of your rent or mortgage payments
- Employment and income information about anyone else living with you, such as grown-up children
- Details about your Carer’s Allowance if you receive it
- Assuming you are self-employed, you will have to supply monthly 'cash-in and cash-out' figures to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If you fail to supply these figures between seven days before and 14 days after each month, your Universal Credit payment will be suspended.
How do I make a claim?
You need to start by setting up an account here. To create an account, you'll need an email address and a phone number. After that, you'll need to answer a set of questions about your current circumstances, known as your "to do list". These include things like when you last received payment for a job, what your household income is and how many people depend on you financially.