Who can apply for Universal Credit?

 

You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re on low income or out of work and will depend on your circumstances.

If you live with your partner

If you are part of a couple you and your partner will need to make a joint claim for Universal Credit. More information on claimimg Universal Credit when you are a couple is on the Gov.uk website 

If you’re 16 or 17

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  • you have limited capability for work or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment
  • you’re caring for a severely disabled person
  • you’re responsible for a child
  • you’re in a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
  • you’re pregnant and it’s 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
  • you’ve had a child in the last 15 weeks
  • you do not have parental support, for example you’re estranged from your parents and you’re not under local authority care

If you’re in training or studying full-time

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  • you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
  • you’re responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple, if both of you are students
  • you’re disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work
  • you’re in ‘non-advanced education’ (for example studying for A levels or a BTEC National Diploma), are 21 or under and do not have parental support

If you’ve reached Pension age

If you are pension age and single, or you have a partner and both of you are pension age, you cannot claim Universal Credit. However, if you are on a low income you can claim Pension Credit for help with your living costs and Housing Benefit for help with your rent.

If you are a member of a low income couple but only one of you was pension age on 14 May 2019, you may still be able to claim backdated Pension Credit and pension age Housing Benefit. Most people are better off claiming Pension Credit instead of Universal Credit. However, you should do this quickly as after 13 August 2019 you will not have this choice.  To qualify you would have to be entitled to benefit since 15 May 2019 had you claimed it at the time. Claim immediately do not wait!

If you reached pension age on or after 15 May 2019 and live with a partner who is under pension age, if you need to make a new claim for benefit, you will have to make a joint claim for Universal Credit. If you believe you qualify apply online.

Severe Disability Premium included in another benefit

There are special rules for people who have a severe disability premium included in their Housing Benefit, Employment & Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance or Income Support.

Living in a hostel, supported accommodation, a refuge or temporary emergency homeless accommodation

People living in a hostel, supported accommodation, a refuge or temporary emergency homeless accommodation will need to claim Housing Benefit as well as Universal Credit. 

Already on Benefits

If you are already on benefits, you don’t need to do anything. You will be told when Universal Credit will affect you. However if your situation changes and this results in your benefits changing you may need to claim Universal Credit.

 

Last Updated: 26 July 2019