Universal Credit: further information for couples

An overview of what Universal Credit means for couples who make a joint claim, including who can make a joint claim and what they will be expected to do in return.



This guide provides basic information about what couples need to know if they make a joint Universal Credit claim.

It includes information about how DWP defines a couple and the steps that people will be expected to take when they make a joint Universal Credit claim. It covers:

  • how a joint claim is made online
  • what claimants will be expected to do in return
  • how payments are made

Part of the Universal Credit toolkit for partner organisations.

Published 20 June 2014
Last updated 1 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. Removed the wording 'You will not get a sanction if you cannot keep to your Claimant Commitment because of coronavirus (COVID-19)'.

  2. Updated English and Welsh 'Universal Credit: further information for couples'. Section 15 'What happens if my partner or I get a job?' now shows work allowance rates effective from 6 April 2020.

  3. Updated the monthly work allowance rates, 'If you get help with housing costs' from £198 to £287 and 'if you don’t get help with housing costs' from £409 to £503.

  4. Added a more detailed definition of a 'severely disabled person' to section 13.

  5. Removed references to Universal Credit full and live service.

  6. Updated information about mixed age couples who claim Universal Credit.

  7. Updated the Universal Credit information for couples page.

  8. This page is being updated with the latest changes to Universal Credit and will be republished shortly.

  9. Removed permitted work amount for couples from section 4 as this no longer applies. Each claim is based on the couple's circumstances.

  10. Updated guide with new 0800 freephone numbers for Universal Credit.

  11. Added information and link to Money Advice Service money manager.

  12. Updated to reflect changes to Universal Credit from April 2016 (English only, Welsh to follow).

  13. Revised version with new information about the roll-out of Universal Credit.

  14. Revised version includes the latest information about Universal Credit.

  15. First published.