We have recently had a lot of questions about Universal Credit.
Quite rightly people are worried about getting caught up in this system and wondering if it will be right for them after losing income due to Covid19.
Here at the PCCA we are not experts and would suggest that you get expert advice before applying.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau should be able to point you in the right direction. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/resources-and-tools/search-navigation-tools/Search/?q=universal+credit&c=TOP-PUBLIC
One of the most frequently asked questions though is how much can be earned whilst still qualifying for UC.
It’s complicated as there seems to be no fixed amount that you can earn before you can get Universal Credit. It all depends on your personal circumstances.
Unless two people have identical sets of circumstances, they will receive different entitlements and be able to earn different amounts of money before their entitlement is stopped.
The bottom line with this is that your personal circumstances, including your earnings, any tax credits you receive, your pension, your savings etc. are all taken into consideration when assessing your eligibility for universal credit.
It isn’t just YOUR income that’s taken into account, it’s your household income.
If your partner is a high earner,whether you are married or not, as long as you live together it’s likely you won’t be eligible to claim universal credit (UC).
If you receive money from a private pension pot and are below state pension age, for every £1 you receive it will reduce your UC by £1.
Some benefits are taken into account also, when calculating your universal credit entitlement. This is considered ‘unearned income’ and, like a pension, counts £1 for £1.
If you or your partner have combined savings of more than £6,000, you will get less universal credit.
If your household has savings of £16,000 or more, you won’t be eligible for universal credit at all.
It’s not straight forward and there are no straight forward answers, so we would ask those concerned to contact CAB who have a more thorough understanding of this.
Money Saving Expert also has some guidelines on benefits that may be of help to self employed and low earners.
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