Universal Credit is a payment for people over 18 but under State Pension age who are on a low income or out of work. It includes support for the cost of housing, children and childcare, and financial support for people with disabilities, carers and people too ill to work. If you claim any other benefit it is important you seek advice before applying for Universal Credit.

The main eligibility criteria for Universal Credit are that the claimant is aged 18 or over, under State Pension age, not in full-time education or training and with no more than £16,000 in savings, although certain exceptions also apply. Anyone living with a partner as a couple will need to make a joint claim.

More information about eligibility criteria for Universal Credit can be accessed at nidirect:

Universal Credit claims are made online. The claimant will also use their online account to provide information to the Department for Communities, including about work-related requirements. Those who cannot manage their claim for themselves will need help from a representative.

More information about making a claim for Universal Credit can be accessed at nidirect:

Universal Credit is calculated over a monthly Assessment Period. First payments are made about five weeks after claiming and payments are made twice a month. The amount of Universal Credit paid in each Assessment Period can vary according to the claimant’s circumstances and their income.

More information about payment of Universal Credit can be accessed at nidirect:

Universal Credit claimants need to agree a commitment to establish what they will do to prepare for work, look for work or increase their earnings, depending on their circumstances. Failing to adhere to this commitment can lead to sanctions, which reduce benefit payments.

More information about the conditions for receiving Universal Credit can be accessed at nidirect:

There are a number of reasons why money can be deducted from Universal Credit payments, including to repay loans or overpayments and because of sanctions. Deductions can also now be taken to repay third parties, like a landlord or energy supplier.

More information about deductions from Universal Credit payments can be accessed at nidirect:


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