Universal Credit can be claimed by people on low incomes or struggling to find work. The amount you get in Universal Credit can go up or down depending on any separate income you may receive from working, a pension, other benefits or savings and capital of above £6,000, and will also depend on a number of personal factors. Claims for Universal Credit are usually made online.
What are the six benefits in Universal Credit?
Universal Credit contains six benefits, which the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) calls legacy benefits.
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
How long does it take to get Universal Credit?
If you want to start receiving income from Universal Credit, it’s important to apply as soon as you are entitled.
If you find a new job, or your circumstances change before your application is finished, you will be able to cancel it if you wish to.
The date you submit your claim, called the assessment date, is the day of the month your Universal Credit payment will come into your account.
Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, so you will have to wait one calendar month from the date you submitted your application before getting your first payment.
This is called your assessment period, after which you will have to wait seven days for the payment to reach your bank account.
This means it can take up to five weeks before you get your first proper payment.
In England, Wales and Scotland, the benefit is paid out on a monthly basis in most cases.
However, in Scotland, you are able to ask for Universal Credit to be paid every two weeks instead.
In Northern Ireland, the default payment period is every fortnight, but you can choose to get monthly payments if you prefer.