Universal Credit claimants may be able to earn certain amount before payment reduces

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The payment itself is made up of a monthly standard allowance, dependent on age and relationship status, as well as any extra amounts available. However, those who are employed may get less.

This is because how much Universal Credit one gets depends on earnings.

Universal Credit reduces as a person earns more, via a taper rate.

It means for every £1 earned, the payment reduces by 63 pence.

It is possible to use a benefits calculator online to see how increasing hours or starting a new job could affect how much a person gets.

That said, some people may be able to earn a certain amount prior to the taper rate kicking in.

This is known as the work allowance, and some will be eligible for it.

A person can get the work allowance if they or their partner are either:

  • Responsible for a child or young person
  • Living with a disability or health condition that affects their ability to work.

There are two different work allowance rates.

The lower one may apply if the person gets help with housing costs.

Currently, those who do get help with housing costs would get the monthly work allowance of £293.

Those who don’t get help with housing costs could get the monthly work allowance of £515.

As income increases and payments reduce, claimants should be aware it may be they end up earning enough to no longer claim Universal Credit.

At this point, the payment will then be stopped.

The Government says people will be told when this happens.

Should earnings decrease again, rest assured they can claim Universal Credit again.

In some cases, it could be a person ends up with what’s known as surplus earnings.

This happens if the monthly earnings are more than £2,500 over the amount where the payment stopped.

Surplus earnings are carried forward to the following month, where they count towards the earnings.

“If your earnings (including your surplus earnings) are then still over the amount where your payment stops, you will not get a Universal Credit payment,” GOV.UK explains.

“If your earnings fall below the amount where your payment stopped, your surplus will decrease.

“Once your surplus has gone, you’ll be able to get a Universal Credit payment again.”

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