Universal Credit

2. Eligibility

You can currently claim Universal Credit if you’re either:

  • a single person anywhere in England, Wales and Scotland
  • a couple or family living in certain areas

To get Universal Credit you must:

  • be 18 or over
  • be under State Pension age
  • not be in full time education or training
  • not have savings over £16,000

You’ll get less Universal Credit if you have savings over £6,000 or earn enough money to cover your basic living costs.

If you live with your partner you’ll need to make a joint claim as a couple. Your partner’s income and savings will be taken into account, even if they aren’t eligible for Universal Credit.

If you want to claim a benefit without your savings, your partner’s savings or their income being taken into account, you can apply for either:

You can apply for these if you’re entitled to apply for Universal Credit.

If you have children

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if you either:

  • have 2 children or fewer and you live in a Universal Credit area
  • received Universal Credit in the previous 6 months and your payments have stopped - it doesn’t matter how many children you have

If you have 3 or more children and you haven’t claimed Universal Credit before, you can apply for Child Tax Credit.

If you have a disability or illness that affects your work

You may need to have a work capability assessment to see how your disability or health condition affects your ability to work. If you need an assessment you’ll get a letter telling you where to go and what to do.

Depending on the outcome of your assessment you could be eligible for an extra payment on top of your standard allowance.

Who isn’t eligible

You can’t claim Universal Credit if you already get:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • income-related Incapacity Benefit

You may be able to claim other benefits if you don’t live in a qualifying area or you’re not eligible to claim Universal Credit.