How to claim universal credit
How much you get
Your monthly universal credit (UC) payment is made up of:
a standard allowance
extra amounts, such as payments for housing costs
You do not usually get the full amount if you're working or have other income.
Check if the benefit cap reduces what you get.
Standard allowance from April 2023
|Single people - if you're under 25
|Single people - if you're 25 or over
|Couples - if you're both under 25
|Couples - if either of you are 25 or over
Extra amounts from April 2023
These are sometimes called elements.
This table shows what you could get on top of your standard allowance:
|£269.58 each for first 2 children. You may get more if your children were born before 6 April 2017 or you have a disabled child.
|£185.86 - if you give at least 35 hours unpaid care a week for a severely disabled person.
|£390.06 - if the DWP decide you have 'limited capability for work and work related activity'.
|Up to a maximum of £646.35 (1 child) or £1,108.04 (2 or more children).
|Amount depends on the size of your household and where you live. It may not cover your full rent.
Find out how your housing element is worked out.
Child element for children with 2 homes
Only the main carer for the children can get the child element.
You can agree who is the main carer if your children live with someone else some of the time.
If you cannot agree, the DWP decides based on your situation. For example, where the children spend the most time.
Your first payment
You have to wait at least 5 weeks for your first payment.
Ask for a UC advance if you cannot wait that long. You pay this back out of future payments.
UC is usually paid as a single monthly payment directly to you.
It's paid in arrears so what you get is based on your income in the previous month.
Last updated: 5 April 2023