If you’re in work or self-employed and on a low income, Universal Credit could still support you and top-up your wages.
You will be able to access dedicated support from a work coach, if you need one. They will help you find a new job or see if you can increase how much you earn.
Universal Credit is flexible, and designed to adjust to changing working patterns. It is paid monthly, and in arrears, like most wages. So this means that if you earn more (or less) in a month, the amount of Universal Credit you receive will automatically adapt to accurately reflect your new situation. But if your circumstances, and income, stay the same each month, your payment usually will too.
Read more about Universal Credit and work, including how earnings could affect your payments.
If you’re working while claiming Universal Credit, you could also claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs. There’s no time limit on how long you get extra help with childcare costs from Universal Credit.
Read more about Universal Credit and childcare.
Managing your money
By getting Universal Credit as a single payment for your household, you might find it easier to manage your money. A range of support services are available to help you budget, including an online service, advice sessions by phone, or face-to-face support.
Already getting a different form of financial support?
If you’re already receiving other benefits and tax credits (including Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit), it might be worth considering what Universal Credit can offer.
You can use a benefits calculator to get an understanding of what support may be available and how much you may be entitled to.
If you are receiving income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support or Housing Benefit you may receive up to an additional 2 weeks’ worth of those payments, where you either choose to claim Universal Credit, or there is a change in your circumstances that means you need to claim Universal Credit.
It is important to make sure you will be able to get Universal Credit before you apply for it. If you currently receive other benefits or tax credits and submit a claim for Universal Credit, those other benefits and tax credits will end immediately. If your benefit or tax credit award ends, it cannot be re-opened, and it will not be possible to make a new benefit or tax credit claim in the future, even if your Universal Credit application is unsuccessful.
If you are currently claiming other benefits or tax credits, and your circumstances change (such as moving in with a partner, or losing your job), you may need to apply for Universal Credit.