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Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit that tops-up household income. If your income is affected by Covid-19 it is important to claim as soon as possible after your last pay has been received into your bank account as there is a 5-week delay to payment (although advances are possible) and your claim takes effect from the date of claim.
You can claim Universal Credit if you are self-employed, employed, not working due to illness, or not working due to unemployment. You will not be eligible for Universal Credit if you have savings over £16,000.
In general, self-employed claimants are assessed on a notional income (the Minimum Income Floor) for Universal Credit purposes. However, if you are ill, or self-isolating, or caring for a child in the household who is ill or self-isolating, the Minimum Income Floor will not apply for that Universal Credit assessment period.
From April 2020 the exemption from the Minimum Income Floor will apply to all self-employed households in receipt of Universal Credit. This will mean your benefit support is assessed on your actual income. If your self-employed earnings are low but you previously did not qualify for Universal Credit due to the application of the Minimum Income Floor you may be eligible for support after April. If there has been a break in your claim since you last applied, you may need to re-apply.
Universal Credit can be claimed in addition to ESA or JSA based on your N.I. contributions, Sick Pay, or Council Tax Support.
If you pay Rates you need to make a separate claim for Rates Rebate in addition to Universal Credit.
From April 6th 2020 support rates for Universal Credit will increase by £20/week.
The following video takes you through the steps of the online application process:
How to claim Universal Credit online
Claim Universal Credit online here -
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