Universal Credit claimants will receive a standard allowance as a minimum but they will likely also be awarded additional payments to cover living costs. As these additional payments are tailored to specific circumstances, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) must be kept up to date with any changes the claimant experiences.
On this, the DWP has recently updated their rules on reporting changes for those who are receiving support for childcare costs.
The DWP details Universal Credit is designed to make it easier for parents to get back to work where they can if they’re a parent.
This is due to the support the government will provide towards childcare costs which can cover up to 85 percent of what the claimant spends.
It should be noted however that the support is not unlimited, with there being monthly caps of £646 for one child or £1108 for two or more children.
“Childcare costs can be claimed for at least a month after your employment ends, which can help you to maintain childcare as you move between jobs.
“Use your Universal Credit online account to report any change of circumstances.”
To be eligible for Universal Credit initially, claimant’s must:
- Be on a low income or out of work
- Be aged between 18 and state pension age
- Have less than £16,000 in savings
- Be living in the UK
Claims for Universal Credit can be made online and certain information must be at hand for this.
When applying, a claimant must provide details on their banking arrangements, income levels and ongoing costs among other factors.
Claimant’s need to apply with their partner of they’re living together but they don’t have to be married.
Once an application has been put through, the Universal Credit team may contact claimants if they need additional information.
The payments will come through once a month, usually into a bank, building society or credit union account.
If a claimant doesn’t have any of these for whatever reason, a Universal Credit helpline can be contacted to arrange alternative payment methods.
It will take around five weeks to get an initial payment but an advance can be requested if money is needed sooner.
Beyond the first payment, claimant’s will be paid on the same date of every month but if this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, the payment will usually arrive on the first working day before this.