Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income. You can get a standard allowance plus some extra money on top of it if you are eligible. Express.co.uk talks you through the different Universal Credit elements.
Universal Credit is means-tested, which means you need to meet a set of requirements to claim it.
The Government will determine whether an individual or family is eligible to receive benefits.
The Department for Work and Pensions adds up all of the elements you are entitled to, and this is your maximum amount of Universal Credit.
Your income is taken away from your maximum amount to work out the amount of Universal Credit you are entitled to.
If you are responsible for a child or qualifying young person who normally lives with you, you could get the child element.
You normally receive £235.83 per child per month, but you will get £281.25 instead if your first or only child was born before April 6, 2017.
If you have a third or subsequent child born on or after April 6, 2017, you won’t be paid a child element for these children due to the Two Child Limit.
The disabled child addition adds on £128.25 per month for each child or qualifying young person who receives the Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
Parents of severely disabled children could get £400.29 extra per month if the child or qualifying young person gets the highest rate of the Disability Living Allowance or enhanced rate for daily living of Personal Independence Payment or is registered blind.
Childcare Costs Element
You can receive the childcare costs element if you pay for registered childcare when you go to work.
There’s no set number of hours you need to work, but if you are in a couple then both of you must work (unless the non-working partner cannot work for a specific reason).
If one of you is furloughed, the DWP will expect the person at home to provide childcare and won’t pay for childcare costs.
At present, some childcare facilities are asking parents to pay to keep their place, but Universal Credit will not cover this.
The Consumer and Markets Authority has said that providers should not be charging fees for a service they cannot provide.
If you are entitled to the childcare costs element, you will have 85 percent of the costs met up to a maximum of £646.35 a month for one child, and £1,108.04 per month for two or more children.
Housing costs Element
The housing cost element provides you with extra money to cover housing costs, rent, or some service charges if you are a tenant.
Homeowners can’t get this element to help with mortgage payments, but might be able to get it for ground rent and service charges.
Find out more on the Turn2Us website, or Gov.uk. There are different rates for different circumstances.
Limited Capability for Work Element
If you satisfy the Work Capability Assessment, you could get either the Limited Capability for Work (LCW) element or the Limited Capability for work-related activity element (LCWRA)
From August 3, 2017, the former is not available to those claiming Universal Credit unless they received a work-related activity component in Employment and Support Allowance before they claimed Universal Credit.
You could get the LCWRA, £341.92 per month if you cannot work or look for work.
This is normally down to sickness or disability, and you won’t be asked to look for work or to prepare for work.