Universal Credit is designed to help with the cost of living for individuals who have found themselves out of work or are on a low income. Claimants can expect to receive the money to which they are entitled monthly, or twice a month for some individuals who live in Scotland. The benefit sum is currently overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who ensures claimants are paid on time and in full.
Universal Credit has replaced six more familiar benefits, known as ‘legacy benefits’, in a system designed to create ease for those who need extra support.
These benefits are: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Working Tax Credit.
Those who are more used to claiming these older benefits will be eased onto the Universal Credit system in due course.
However, those who are claiming Universal Credit are entitled to a standard allowance each month, which is dependent on age and relationship status.
Firstly, individuals may receive further funds if they have children.
The government website states: “If you have one or two children, you’ll get an extra amount for each child.
“If you have three or more children, you’ll get an extra amount for at least two children.”
For an eldest child born before April 6, 2017, the sum stands at £281.25, and at £235.83 for a first child born after this.
Second children and any other eligible children are entitled to receive £235.83 per month, per child.
And those who need help with childcare costs could receive up to 85 percent of these costs, up to £646.35 for one child, and up to £1,108.04 for two or more children.
People who have a disability or health condition which limits their ability to work can also receive additional sums from the DWP.
These amounts stand at £341.92 and £128.25 respectively, dependent on when a person started their health-related claim.
Those who claim Universal Credit may also receive additional help with housing costs.
Ultimately, how much a person receives is dependent on age and circumstances.
However, the payment can help to cover rent and some service charges.
Indeed, if a person is paying their mortgage, they may also be able to receive support to help with interest payments through a loan.
Finally, those who care for someone with a disability will also be entitled to receive assistance.
If caring for a severely disabled person for at least 35 hours a week, an additional sum of £162.92 is allocated per month.
To find out more about entitlement to additional benefits, claimants are encouraged to use the government website and the Universal Credit portal online.