Opening up work

This page explains how Universal Credit helps people to find work and progress in their careers.

If you want to apply for Universal Credit or just find out what it means for you, visit the homepage.

Universal Credit supports all kinds of people who are on a low income or out of work.

On this page you’ll find some of the stories of how it has helped make a difference, told by the people supported by, and working with, Universal Credit every day…

How Universal Credit helps

Universal Credit is ‘opening up work’ and allowing access to a wider range of jobs by:

  • helping make sure you’re always better off in work than on benefits
  • allowing part-time and short-term work to act as a stepping stone into work
  • enabling you to work more than 16 hours a week and still claim Universal Credit
  • paying towards your childcare costs, giving you more flexible working hours

Ben: After work experience and then part-time work, Ben has progressed into a supervisory role

Ongoing support

If you’re on a low income or out of work, Universal Credit helps you to find a job or increase the hours you work.

And you’ll get support from a work coach to help you every step of the way.

Charlie: Charlie is on track in his chosen career path and excited for the future

Find out more about Universal Credit and work.

How Universal Credit works

Taking a job will always be worth your while – even if it’s just for a few hours a week or a temporary job – and there are no limits to the hours you can work.

When you start work or increase your hours, Universal Credit will top up your earnings each month. It will gradually reduce as your earnings increase. And if your job ends, it’s easy to start your Universal Credit payments again.

If you’re a parent, you can also claim up to 85% of childcare costs.

When you can claim Universal Credit

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages, so you may not be able to claim it just yet. When you make a new claim for benefit, such as if you become unemployed, we’ll tell you whether you can claim Universal Credit.

You don’t need to do anything if you’re already claiming benefits or tax credits. We’ll let you know at the right time if you need to claim Universal Credit instead.

Steve: Ex-offender Steve has made great progress rebuilding his life and is using his experience to support homeless people

Here’s the stories of some of the people Universal Credit has helped:

Gareth: Former electrician Gareth turned his passion for photography into his full-time job

Aaron & Miriam: Aaron and Miriam are jobcentre apprentices, working to help others as they were helped themselves

Sean: Universal Credit helped Sean learn and gain experience as he pursues a career in gardening

Jeremy: Jeremy is grateful to his work coach for his career change