Universal Credit payments are important to millions of people who are on a low income or who have found themselves out of work. Payments are issued to eligible people usually over the age of 18 and under state pension age, who are resident in the UK. People must also have less than £16,000 in savings to be able to claim Universal Credit.
With a new year, changes to support are on the horizon, and it could mean an increase boost to the sum, dependent on government decisions going forward.
The DWP has laid out planned increases to Universal Credit this year, both to standard allowances and additional sums on top to support those in certain circumstances.
From April 2021, standard allowances for Universal Credit will increase in the following ways:
Single people under 25 will see their sum rise from £256.05 to £257.33 in the 2021/22 financial year.
Earlier on in the pandemic, the government took the decision to offer a boost to Universal Credit to help households during the crisis.
The COVID-19 increase to Universal Credit is worth approximately £20 per week, but is scheduled to end in April 2021.
Recently, a number of charities called upon the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the support, and to also offer a similar increase for those on legacy benefits
The government previously stated it would review the boost “in the New Year” and thus a decision is expected imminently.
It is also worth noting that further support will be available for those receiving additional sums of money under Universal Credit.
Work allowances can also be given to Universal Credit claimants, and these too are set to rise, as laid out below:
- Higher work allowance (no housing amount) one or more dependent children or limited capability for work – £512 now to £515 in 2021 to 2022
- Lower work allowance one or more dependent children or limited capability for work – £292 now to £293 in 2021 to 2022
Universal Credit can be applied for online by Britons, but certain documentation will be needed to support the claim.
This can include bank account details, information about income, savings and investments, an email address, and details about housing, and childcare if relevant.
Britons may also be required to verify their identity online, and will need proof of this, such as a driving licence, passport, debit or credit card.