There have been many different things floating around the internet about Universal Credit, calculating benefits and more. This has caused a lot of confusion amongst many people and we’d like to set things straight and let you know what exactly is going on.

But, what exactly is Universal Credit? It is a means-tested benefit for people of working age who are on a low income. It’s a monthly payment to help you with your living costs and could also be claimed by anyone who is out of work or is unable to work. It also includes an element for rent, in which claimants are expected to pay their rent from the monthly Universal Credit they receive.

It will replace the below six means-tested benefits, also known as legacy benefits, by 2024:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

If you already claim any of these benefits, you will stop getting them once you/your partner claims Universal Credit. Many people could be better off financially if they claim this, but once you do, it cannot be undone. This is where the benefits calculator comes in.

If you’re unsure whether you’d be better off claiming Universal Credit, you can use an online benefits calculator. All you need is the below information:

  • Details of all of your income, e.g., earnings, state pension, occupational pension, disability benefit, attendance allowance and other state benefits.
  • Income and benefits information of your partner or anyone who is living with you in the same household.
  • How much money you have in savings, investments and other capital.
  • The amount of money your annual council tax bill us, and any discounts you get.
  • If you pay rent, service charges or mortgage and if so, how much.
  • If you have anyone e.g., grown-up children, living with you: if they are in employment, on benefits, their income.
  • Details of anyone’s Carer’s Allowance or a Universal Credit carer element for looking after you or anyone in your household if you receive it.

You can find some good benefits calculators here on our website; they are free and anonymous to use. We also have further information about Universal Credit on there, who can claim it and more.

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