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Universal Credit is a benefit payment for people in or out of work. Universal Credit replaces some of the benefits and tax credits people are receiving now, including Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance. The DWP calls these six elements legacy benefits.
How many hours can I work and still get Universal Credit?
In some cases, you may be eligible for a work allowance.
A work allowance is the amount that you can earn before your Universal Credit payment is affected.
When you start working, the amount of Universal Credit you get will gradually reduce as you earn more money.
As it stands, you can work up to 16 hours a week and still get the full amount of Universal Credit.
However, unlike Jobseekers’ Allowance, your payment will not stop if you do decide to work more than 16 hours.
Your total income will be your earnings plus your new Universal Credit payment, which will be calculated on how much you earn from your job.
The more you earn from working, the higher your total income will be.
Your claim continues when you start working, so you can take temporary or seasonal jobs without worrying about making a brand new claim.
This also means you don’t have to worry about gaps between paydays as you move in and out of work.
When you work and claim Universal Credit, you are likely eligible for a service called Unreimbursed work expenses.
This kicks in when you are either working or about to start working in a job, and ill cover any one-off costs you have to pay.
These payments could be for a uniform, travel card, licenses or equipment.
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If your employer is not willing to meet these costs and you pay for them out of your own pocket, they are classed as unreimbursed work expenses.
If you end up having any of these expenses, speak to your Work Coach.
The case could be that you could offset these expenses against your monthly Universal Credit payment.
Once you earn more than your work allowance, your Universal Credit payment will begin declining at a steady rate.
This is known as the Universal Credit earnings taper.
The Universal Credit earnings taper currently stand at 63 percent.
This means for every £1 you earn over your work allowance, if you are eligible for one, your Universal Credit will be reduced by 63p.
This amount will be deducted automatically from your Universal Credit payment.
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