Universal credit: How to claim


How much you'll get

This page has been updated following the coronavirus outbreak

Your monthly universal credit payment is based on:

  • a standard allowance
  • any additional amounts you qualify for 

The tables on this page show the new rates of standard allowance and additional amounts in place from 6 April 2020.

You only get the amounts in the table if you have no other income. 

You usually get less if you're working or have other income.

Use the entitledto benefit calculator for an estimate of how much you can get based on your personal situation

How and when you get paid

Universal credit is usually paid as one single monthly payment directly to you.

Sometimes the housing element can be paid direct to your landlord.

It's paid in arrears so what you get is based on your income for the previous month. 

You have to wait at least 5 weeks for your first payment. Processing times might be longer during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Ask for an advance if you can't wait that long.

When your universal credit can be reduced

Your monthly payments can go up or down if your income or situation changes.

You won't get the full amount if you:

Standard allowance

Coronavirus update: The standard allowance has been increased for 12 months because of the outbreak.

From 6 April 2020 the new monthly standard allowance rates are:

Single claim - if you're under 25

£342.72

Single claim - if you're 25 or over

£409.89

Joint claim - if you're both under 25

£488.59 

Joint claim - if either of you are 25 or over

£594.04 

Additional amounts

This table is a guide to what you may get on top of your standard allowance if you apply for universal credit. All amounts are monthly.

Check the qualifying conditions for each element on GOV.UK

Child element

£235.83 each for your first 2 children if born on or after 6 April 2017.

You may get more if your children were born before this date or you have a disabled child. 

Carer element £162.92  - if you provide at least 35 hours unpaid care for a severely disabled person. 
Disability element

£341.92 - if Jobcentre Plus decide you have 'limited capability for work and work related activity'

Childcare element

To cover monthly childcare costs up to a maximum of:

  • £646.35 for 1 child
  • £1108.04 for 2 or more children
Housing element

You can usually get a housing element if you pay rent.

It may not cover your full rent and you have to pay any shortfall from other income.

The housing element won't cover mortgage costs but can help with certain leasehold or service charges.

You can apply for a support for mortgage interest (SMI) loan if you're unemployed or can't work.


Last updated 02 April 2020 | © Shelter

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