Universal Credit: Personal Case Study Questions

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Policy in Practice have had many enquiries from people about how Universal Credit will affect them.

This post is here to collect case studies of Universal Credit – your stories and questions. We want to create a forum for people to discuss their issues and develop a resource for people to find guidance on welfare reform.

We cannot provide advice on a case-by-case basis, but will help to clarify the regulations.  If you are concerned about how you will be affected by any of the welfare changes, it is best to also contact your Local Authority and/or Job Centre as they will be able to comment on your specific circumstances.

Before posting, please first read the FAQ to make sure that your question has not been answered there.  You can also search this page (Ctrl+f) to see if your question has already been answered.

113 Responses

  1. I have been told that “there is no clear definition of ‘no disability (£0.00)’ ‘some disability (£26.75)’ and ‘serious disability (£77.00)’ and who will be entitled to which payment” but there has to be some guidelines, how else is a disabled person supposed to know if they are better off in work? 

     

    • There seems to be no provision for those of us who are disabled, in work and receiving DLA or PIP as it will be just ESA. Is that right? In that case I will be a lot worse of.

      • Dear Celia,

        Universal Credit will not replace DLA/PIP. DLA/PIP will still be payable alongside Universal Credit and is non-means-tested, so the amount will be the same both in work and out of work.

        We have added a section for DLA/PIP on the premium version of the Universal Credit Calculator and this will soon be made available on the free version.

  2. Sue Soufer

    If I get £105 per week employment & support allowance.  How much Universal credit will I get in the future.

  3. 20 quid worse off for 40 hours work.  Thought it was supposed to be fairer, we are already the same off as if we weren’t working.  Not looking forward to it, terrible.

    • deven_pip

      Steve,

      What are the circumstances for which you expect to be 20 pounds worse off? That shouldn’t be the case. Let me know and I’ll look into it.
      Thanks.

  4. V Hughes

    Great to actually have something showing figures as I have been unable to actually find anything that shows calculations before. About the housing costs section, should we include rent and council tax combined? From your calculator it appears as a single parent of 1, renting, working 27hrs p/week I will be over £1,150 better off per year. I do hope this calculator is accurate but then again, this extra could be what I have to pay for the annual CT bill if it is excluded from the UC calculated award. Hey ho!

  5. Hi, I’m really confused!

    My husband currently works 45 hours a week at £7.50 an hour.  I’m at home with the kids (1 aged 7 and 1 aged 14).  

    His earnings are not 2 x 35 hours @ NMW yet the end result on the calculator comes up with “this household faces no conditionality”.  How come?   

    Thanks for any light you can shed on this! 

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your question.

      Because you have young children, you would only be to work part time (16*NMW).Your partner would be expected to work full time (35*NMW). Your household earnings would need to be (51*NMW = £315) to avoid facing in-work conditionality, your partners earnings are £337.50, above this threshold.

      Although caveats remain (regulations remain yet to be determined) I hope this helps to clarify things.

      Deven.

  6. Well I will be considerably worse off under the new system, I divorced when my youngest was 2 and have been in part time work ever since so I get to spend time with my children yet pay my mortgage and bills. I may possibly end up losing my house under UC. I definitely will not be bothering to work more than 16 hours which at present I do whenever possible. Work will never pay in this country till the minimum wage is at least £10 per hour but living in the south west which has some of the lowest incomes in the country that isn’t likely to happen for the next 20-30 years. All this will do is encourage more people to take cash in hand jobs. It appears that the government are taking a victorian stance on the least well off. I have struggled for 8 years to pay everything and now it looks like that was a total waste of time. I appreciate we need to save money, but the “we’re all in this together makes me laugh” it’s only the lowest paid that will have to go without as it is my mum cooks for my children and I 3 times a week.  It is estimated that I will be £3000 a year worse off. If I struggle to make ends meet now what hope is there for me and my children.

    • Hello Lesley, thanks for your comment. Why do you think you might choose to work fewer hours under Universal Credit?

  7. In my current circumstances (my husband works 24 hours per week) my family is no better off in work or on the dole. The new system would give us an extra 300 per month. The only problem is that I start work next month and I now discover we will be worse off on the new system. Typical, but I can’t say I disagree with it. It is wrong that so many people on low incomes are no better off in work, the only consolations are self esteem and a saving on the gas bill.

    • Dear Rachel,

      If I understand your comment correctly, you are saying that your family will be worse off on Universal Credit than the old system because you are starting work. It is one of Universal Credit’s main goals to make people better off in work than on benefits so I am sorry to hear that you believe that this is not the case for your family.

      • Yoga LouLou

        Policy in Practice seems to be ignoring those who claim they will be worse off as if they are imagining it. The fact of the matter is this…I will be worse off. Under the new system I will be expected to earn at least £100 a week whilst working for myself. This will be impossible for me. So I will be asked to find work. I live in rural Gloucestershire and the bus alone is £5 return to the next town. There is no after school club and the journey takes over half an hour. 16 hours of work (I thought they were doing away with that stupid 16 hour benchmark! Most mothers can only find 15 hours of work a week! Drop kids off at 9am – travel to work – work 10am until 12 – hour off for lunch – work 1 til 2 – leave to collect children at 3pm = not rocket science) at NMW £100.96 minus £25 bus fare = £75.96 which is less than I get now as a self employed yoga teacher working 15 hours a week and 1 hour a week working on my business, tax, website, marketing etc etc so in total 16 hours a week. What sickens me is the lack of real information and disturbing lack of thought behind individuality. I hoped that this system would bring about real change, alleviate poverty and help us to get out of the poverty trap. It seems all that will happen is we will be bullied into ways of earning in order to tick the governments boxes. Mark my words all this will do is make people spawn babies every four years so they don’t have to work at all! Ridiculous!

        • Dear LouLou,

          I am sorry that you have not been satisfied with our responses. We do not ignore any of the comments from our contributors.

          Being self-employed, you will have a year to meet the minimum income requirement and will be given the opportunity every five years which should help you. This blog post has more information on Universal Credit and self-employment. Do you think it is unfair to ask that self-employed people are profitable enough to earn minimum wage in their second year of operation?

          Universal Credit does eliminate the hours rules used by tax credits. Instead it focuses on earnings rather than hours. For in-work conditionality, a lone parent would be expected to earn 16hrs x NMW (currently £99.04) but they could work less hours if the rate of pay is higher than national minimum wage. For example, if they earned £7/hour, they would only need to work just over 14 hours to meet the in-work conditionality. A lone parent working 15 hours will be significantly better off compared with tax credits today.

          In-work conditionality under Universal Credit will also be applied on a discretionary basis. If you were to explain your case to an advisor, they may understand and suggest other ways to increase your earnings (rather than your hours). You can read more about in-work conditionality here.

  8. It’s rather silly that it will give me £400 childcare costs when I’m out of work and £266 in work, yet when out of work I don’t have childcare costs, I care for them myself. seems stupid that it’s even in there!

    • Dear Janette,

      Thank you for your comments. Childcare support is not paid when you are out of work. Childcare costs are only available on the premium version of the calculator and this issue has been addressed.

  9. Philippa Starkey

    Well this is just great! Being self employed with a very small business, sole trader, in the south west of England, with one dependant and as a single parent this basically means that I’m going to be completely and utterly stuffed! Not only do I struggle daily to put the food on the table and pay my bills, this will now mean that I will most likely lose my home too and through no fault of my own and because I want to work! Thank you very much for absolutely nothing! This government make me sick. Get prepared for mass poverty and homelessness!

    • Dear Phillipa,

      I am sorry to hear that you believe you will be worse off under Universal Credit. This discussion on self employment under Universal Credit might be of use to you. There have also been a number of changes to self employment in the latest regulations which might help you. You will have twelve months before you are expected to earn at least the equivalent of the minimum wage and will be given this opportunity once every five years.

    • Yoga LouLou

      Agreed! Makes me wonder if I would have been better off not bothering to work at all for all these years instead of trying to get out of the poverty trap by becoming self employed!

  10. This can’t be right! I’m working in a full time job and this calculator tells me that I will qualify for £111.29 a weel in benefits?! It says I’m better off in work by £727.11 a month?!? Have I entered some numbers wrong or does this thing not work properly?

    • Dear James,

      Without further information, we cannot determine whether or not the calculator is working properly for your situation. Please try your calculations again and if you are still having trouble, reply to this comment and detail what circumstances you are inputting into the calculator.

  11. James Charlesworth

    I am living with my Mum who is a pensioner and we live in a 2 bed flat.
    My Mum has been told I will have to start paying £13.60 per week.
    Will this come out my Jsa or do i get the £13.60 on top…..

    • deven.ghelani

      Hello James,
      It is difficult without knowing the full circumstances – but if you live with a family member you are unlikely to be entitled to housing benefit and will have to pay the difference yourself. However, you should check with your local authority. Thanks. Deven.

    • james it will come out of your jsa

  12. I work 16 hrs a week with 2 children and pay childcare. It’s telling me ill get exactly the same If I work or don’t work! Surely that’s not right?

    • Dear R,

      The free version of the calculator does not take into account childcare costs, however the premium version does. If you are using the free version, you will have to take your childcare costs into account yourself.

      Without further information, we cannot determine whether or not the calculator is working properly for your situation. Please try your calculations again and if you are still having trouble, reply to this comment and detail what circumstances you are inputting into the calculator.

  13. It says £62 a week better off working, now it costs me £30 a week in petrol & then you have lunches to pay for, but works out i am £120 a week worse off with the working tax credits and child tax credits i am getting now, so really i would be worse off and better off not working…Thanks government!!!

    • Dear Michele,

      I am sorry to hear that you believe you will be no better off in work than benefits under Universal Credit. This is one of the main goals of Universal Credit. The calculator does not take into account work-related expenses (such as travel, food) as these are not part of welfare. Do you think that these expenses should be included in the benefits system?

  14. I appear to be a bit better off this new benefit system (single parent working 26 hrs a wk), when will i assessed this way?
    North Somerset area

    • deven.ghelani

      Hi Helen,
      The DWP have not yet said how Universal Credit will be rolled out across the country, but it probably won’t affect people currently claiming benefits or tax credits until at least spring 2014.
      Does this answer your question? Thanks. Deven.

  15. I I work 16hrs a week and get working tax credits I also have savings how will this affect me

  16. When putting in my details of work it tells me I am apparently £120 better off working a week. However it doesn’t take off tax paid in my job, currently approximately £80 a week, cost of travel to my job and back, approximately £25 a week or the fact that if I didn’t work my three children would have their school dinners paid approximately £37.50 a week. Hang on, It seems I’m apparently £142.50 out on benefit calculations, so £22.50 worse off for working under the new system. Is this right?

    • Dear Adrian,

      The calculator does take tax on your earnings into account and we have now made this clearer in the chart labels. The earnings that you see on the chart are your ‘net’ earnings, meaning after tax has been taken out. However, the calculator does not take into account other work-related expenses (such as travel) as these are not part of the welfare system. You will have to deduct these yourself from the ‘better off in work’ amount.

      The policy for free school meals is yet to be determined, and will be decided by the Dept for Education later this year. This blog post explains how Policy in Practice believes Free school Meals should be administered under Universal Credit, so as to make sure work pays.

  17. Bruna Rubim

    Hello, I am currently in employment and my husband is not, not because he wants to he just hasn’t been able to find work so far. I got 4 children from the ages of 4-13. I started a small market trading business a while ago but had to stop as I was losing money. at the time I registered as self employed as I didn’t want to be doing it illegally, however ever since then I have seen the amount of my child tax credits and working tax credits decrease dramatically. I used the calculator to give an estimate of what I can expect in my circumstances, and results are significantly higher than what I am getting now, bearing in mind that the cuts I have suffered have been explained to me as being a result of the new reforms. Any comments on this, is there anyone or somewhere I contact to look into this?

    • Dear Bruna,

      The calculator will give you your entitlement under Universal Credit which may be different from what you are receiving under the current system. The calculator also gives you an estimate of your entitlement – we cannot guarantee that this will be the exact amount that you will receive. There is a new blog post here to discuss individual cases if you would like to give more detail about your circumstances in the comments. There are also many places that you can go to get advice on benefits: your local Job Centre, your Local Authority, or advice organisations.

  18. £1.60 a week better off by working what a joke so people that aren’t working basically get the same amount if money

    • Dear Kerry,

      I am sorry to hear that you believe that you are no better off in work than on benefits under Universal Credit. This is one of the main goals of Universal Credit. If you want to share your circumstances in this post here, we can look into whether or not that is in fact the case.

  19. donna huckin

    Would be nice if the figures it comes up with were nearly correct! currently we are family of 4, 2 adults 2 kids, hubby earns 21060, we pick up 1428 monthly, child tax credit we get 73 a week, we get 146 approx child benefit, we get no housing benefit or working tax credit, using this calculator it shows us a base award of 163 ? is this like working tax credit?, then child support of 166 which is nearly half of what we get now, housing of 120, then our income then the 146 child benefit? why would we now qualify for housing?. how accurate do you think this calculator actually is? i look forward to new universal tax credit if we were gonna be quids up! but you know the saying if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is, is probably gonna ring true here .

    • Dear Donna,

      The calculator will give you your entitlement under Universal Credit which may be different from what you are receiving under the current system. The calculator also gives you an estimate of your entitlement – we cannot guarantee that this will be the exact amount that you will receive. The ‘base award’ is the out of work element of Universal Credit (JSA, Income Support, ESA). An explanation of each element of the award is indicated in the calculator when you hover over the amount.

  20. ann proud

    I am 56 yrs old and in temporary accommodation awaiting an offer of housing from my local authority…my rent is paid for at the moment, but am wondering what happens next? I am in receipt of income support and carers allowance at the moment……any advice?

    • Dear Ann,

      Unfortunately, due Policy in Practice cannot offer advice on a case by case basis. If you are concerned about your housing, the best place to get information on the next step for you is the Housing Options office at your Local Authority.

      However if your question is specifically about how your rent will be paid under Universal Credit, you should still be entitled to what is now your housing benefit but will become the housing element of Universal Credit. This will be paid to you along with your other benefits in one lump sum, so you will need to use these funds to pay your rent directly.

  21. Annette Harrison

    I work 16 hours a week. Not had a pay rise for 5 years. Have a 15-yr old child, I am a single parent. Council want me to pay full council tax (less single occupancy discount). And tax credits have reduced my payments by a whopping £77 this month, without prior warning. Forcing me to use payday loan company to survive. Dismal government.

    • Dear Annette,

      I am very sorry to hear that you have not had a pay rise in five years. You should ensure that you make repayments on your payday loans and seek cheaper credit, or reduce your outgoings if at all possible.

  22. serendipity

    Hi Deven

    Universal Credit

    I’m trying to seek more clarification on deviations of the Minimum Income Threshold for a self-employed lone-parent with a child under the age 13. Assuming I meet the criteria for full capability to work (which I do), from what I can understand the MIT is set at 35 X NMW unless the claimant meets the requirements for the lesser number of hours as per the UC Reg 88, Paragraph 2. (See below.) However no definition of lesser hours is given? The regulation simply implies that the claimant will have to satisfy the Secretary of State in meeting those requirements? How will that work?

    Expected hours
    88.—(1) The “expected number of hours per week” in relation to a claimant for the purposes of determining their individual threshold in regulation 90 or for the purposes of regulation 95 or 97 is 35 unless some lesser number of hours applies under paragraph (2).
    (2) The lesser number of hours is—
    (a) where—
    (i) the claimant is a relevant carer, a responsible carer or a responsible foster parent, and
    (ii) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant has reasonable prospects of obtaining paid work, the number of hours that the Secretary of State considers is compatible with those caring responsibilities;
    (b) where the claimant is a responsible carer for a child under the age of 13, the number of
    hours that the Secretary of State considers is compatible with the child’s normal school hours (including the normal time it takes the child to travel to and from school); or
    (c) where the claimant has a physical or mental impairment, the number of hours that the
    Secretary of State considers is reasonable in light of the impairment.

    Do you (or anyone else) know if these “lesser hours” have been defined and if so, what they are (?) as I have been unable to gain clarification on this?

    Many thanks

    • Dear Serendipity,

      I think you are asking a question about in-work conditionality. As a lone parent, you will not be expected to work as many hours as someone without caring responsibilities. Based on the hours rules for tax credits, I believe that you will be expected to earn 16 hours * £6.19 (NMW) = £99.04/week. However, as you say the regulations are unclear – but I hope this helps for now.

  23. Hi, For interest I tried this to see how much I would get if made redundant and the effect on tax credits/child tax credits when in work. I was unsurprised to find that I would be considerably worse off in both cases, presumablt because I have been frugal and accumulated some savings. If it is giving the correct figures however it appears that I stand to loose all of the credits at a cost of some £6,000- per year. Since I work full time (despite disability) at a low salary all I can say is that I hope it is wrong.

    • Dear Rogr,

      If you have savings above £16,000 you will not be entitled to Universal Credit under the current regulations. If you would like to share more detail on your personal circumstances so that we can get a better picture of your situation, please reply to this comment with more information.

  24. anne marie

    I am a single mother 1 child working 30 hours per week.My salary is approx 18500 but varies because it includes a bonus. I haven’t any savings. I have a mortgage. Will i be eligible for universal credit. I have read if you have a mortgage that I won’t be. Many thanks.

    • Dear Anne Marie,

      Under Universal Credit, you will only be eligible for mortgage support if you are out of work. Since you are working, you would not be eligible for mortgage support.

  25. paul cassingham

    a quick calculation, checking an increase in income of £1k per year (£83 per month), produced a real increase in income+benefits of £7 per month. An effective ‘tax’ rate of more than 91%.Not sure if this is how the government intends to incentivise people to work harder but seems unlikely to succeed

    • Dear Paul,

      Thanks for your comment. Your calculation was due to a bug in the calculator for your particular circumstances. This has now been fixed. Please try your calculation again and let us know the results. You should now see a lower marginal tax rate.

      The maximum MTR under Universal Credit is 76.2%. Policy in Practice has argued that withdrawal rates should be lower to further increase the reward from work.

  26. michelle

    Im confused. When using the app on 2 different occasions today using the same figures the childcare help differed by almost 200. The highest was 150 less than what we would currently get so I am gutted and dreading next year whwn we have to put 2 children in childcare!

    • Dear Michelle,

      If you would like to reply to this comment with more details of your personal circumstances, we can look into this further.

  27. James Lessels

    I work full time. My wife is deafblind and gets DLA (Higher mobility and Middle Care). We have savings in excess of £16000. Will she stop getting any benefit?

    • Dear James,

      Your wife will not stop receiving DLA as this is not means-tested, but you will not receive any Universal Credit as long as your savings remain above £16,000. If your savings fall below £16,000, you will be eligible for Universal Credit but your monthly payments would be reduced by £4.35 for every £250 in savings over £6,000. You can use the Universal Credit calculator to estimate how much Universal Credit you would receive with different amounts of savings by entering your circumstances and changing the savings amount.

  28. I seem to get more money when the universal credit comes in, I cannot work have been to a medical assesement at the job centre and I was found unfit for work, my partner cares for me and unable to work as he has to help wwith the 3 children, plus look after me,
    I know a lot of people wil e affected by some changes, its pretty scary stuff knowin everythings going to get worse, I’m 26 n the future looks very dark for my children,

    • Dear Emma,

      There are a lot of changes to benefits, and it is creating uncertainty and concern for many households. It sounds like you will be better off under Universal Credit than the current system. What would you like your children to become when they get older?

  29. I am a single mother of two, aged 9 and 11. I earn 21,000 a year and work 34 hours a week. According to your calculator I will be £300 a month worse off. Does this sound right? I have a mortgage and live pretty much to my limit so in that case I will lose my house.

    • Dear Jill,

      It is hard to be sure without knowing the full set of circumstances. If you would like me to look into your case further, please reply to this comment with the full set of circumstances that you are entering into the calculator (local authority, rent, etc.).

      It seems that the issue here for you is that under Universal Credit, you would not be eligible for mortgage interest support if you are working, which you are. Are you currently receiving SMI?

  30. Hi,

    I’d like to clarify circumstances should be relatively straight forward!!

    Our Circumstances = Couple, 2 children under 5 ,partner working 28 hours PAYE, me working from home self-employed full time whilst caring for children… income is low however maybe works out at 20 hours x NMW. Business established over 1 year.

    I saw a response from Deven that stated if children were under 13 we would have to earn collectively 35 hours + 16hours = 51 hours? Am I to assume that for us it would be just 35 hours x NMW due to child being under 5. Therefore is it as simple as I am classed as the carer, partner works earns 28 hours x NMW and I then earn a minimum of 7 hours x NMW to ensure there is no conditionality. Note I work more hours but earnings are low in relation to NMW but obviously this works as I can do Nursery run and look after younger child! The aim is to increase my hours and income when both children go to school. I’m trying to clarify would my partner have to earn 35 x NMW alone or can we essentially make up the difference together. For example say my partner worked 16 hours if I made up the difference would that still be O.K.? How does this one person is the carer one person is the full time worker actually work in reality I can see it being a ‘catch’? So in summary is it couple child under 5 collective income 35 hoursxNMW couple child 5-13yrs 51hrs x NMW collective income? Also what if I just didn’t work (not going to happen) partner earnt 35hoursxNMW and I chose not to claim JSA? Would it essentially be the same? Thanks in advance

    • Dear Pete,

      Since you have young children, based on the information currently available your household is only expected to earn 35 x NMW and you can do this together, it does not to have to be one person alone. If I understand you correctly, you are currently earning 20hrs x NMW and your partner is earning 28hrs x NMW (or more). This means that your household is earning at least 48hrs x NMW, so you are meeting your in work conditionality.

      As for your second question, yes you could also stop working if your partner earned 35hrs x NMW as long as you have a child under 5. You would still meet in work conditionality but your income would decline – you can try out the difference on the Universal Credit calculator to see what that decision would do to your income.

  31. bennyboy

    hi, me and my partner both work , im 36 hours at 6.50ph and my partner 24 hrs at 6.19ph. we have 2 kids under 5 and we are both 22. the calculator says i will be better of but the only thing i dont understand is that the calculator says we are due around 130 a month in housing support, is this accurate? as we arent entitled to any housing benefit currently

    • Dear Ben,

      The calculator is accurate only to the extent that you are able enter the correct information into it. If you are not entitled to receive any housing benefit then do not enter any housing support into part 1 of the form.

      For people renting in the private rented sector, the calculator uses the maximum LHA rate for your area to show you the upper limit of your housing element. If your level of housing support is less than this figure you should enter this figure.

      To get a more accurate figure, you could find out the LHA rate for your local authority and property type in one of the following tables: England; Scotland; Wales. If this is lower than your actual rent, use this figure in Step 1 for ‘Rent’ rather than your actual rent.

  32. I am a private tutor in receipt of Working Tax Credit. I live at home with an elderly infirm parent, although I don’t claim any form of ‘carer’s’ allowance. I have very quiet periods, typically Jan-Mar and mid-June-Sept. I also don’t earn £217 a week. The very most I have brought home in one week is about £150.00, but not for want of trying to find more students! Will this mean that I am no longer eligible under this new scheme, if I don’t meet the ‘minimum income floor’? What happens if you don’t meet this threshold?

    • Dear Maximus,

      As a private tutor, you would be considered self-employed and would therefore have one year to reach the minimum income requirement and will have the opportunity to do so every five years. If you do not reach the minimum income requirement after this time, you may be subject to in-work conditionality.

      Under Universal Credit, carers receiving the carer element will fall into the no conditionality group. This means that they would not be asked to meet the minimum income requirement. You would need to provide care for 35 hours/week to be eligible for the carer element, and you can check other eligibility requirements here.

      For carers with less than 35 hours of caring responsibilities, levels of conditionality may apply but will be applied on a discretionary basis. The Universal Credit Briefing Note on Carers states:

      ‘It is important to have flexibility for other carers who do not fall into the no conditionality group as their caring responsibilities may change from day to day. To ensure these carers receive the level of conditionality that is appropriate to their needs, it is envisaged that the same level of flexibility that is within the current systems will be incorporated into Universal Credit.’

      I hope that helps.

  33. im not sure about the cap like to know if you have 4 children already and one on the way does this mean you can no get child tax credit

    sorry if im not clear i mean if the cap is £500 a week and i already get this does this mean i can not claim anything more for my 5th child.

    • Dear Akeela,

      It is difficult to say how the cap will affect you without further information on your circumstances. You will still receive child benefit/child tax credit for your fifth child, but your overall income may stay the same due to the cap.

      At the moment, housing benefit is the only element that is being reduced due to the benefit cap. If you do not receive housing support, your income will increase with child benefit/child tax credit for your fifth child. However, if you are receiving housing support, any increase in child benefit and child tax credit would likely be deducted from your housing benefit, so you would receive the same amount overall.

      Here’s an example: say you receive £200 in housing benefit and £300 in all other benefits each week, a total of £500/week. If you have another child and your other benefits go up to £350, your housing benefit will be reduced to £150 so that your total remains £500/week. Technically you are still receiving child benefit for your fifth child, but your take home amount has not increased.

      If you are concerned about the benefit cap, you should contact your local authority who will be able to give you advice and support.

  34. I have 3 children and get around £600 a month child tax credit that’s with my partner working, but on the calculator it says I will only get around £400 while people on benefits will get approximately £725 so how is work going to pay when I will be losing over £200 a month of child tax credit?

    • Dear Sophia,

      Your overall income will be higher in work than out of work (due to your partner’s earnings) even if the amount of the Child Element (child tax credit) may be lower in work than when out of work.

      How does the overall in-work amount compare to what you are currently receiving, taking all earnings and benefits into account (partner’s wages, housing benefit, child benefit, etc.)?

      Without knowing your full set of circumstances, it is difficult to comment on your specific case. If you would like us to look into your case further, please reply to this comment and let us know exactly what circumstances you are entering into the calculator, along with what benefits you are currently receiving.

  35. redbeanstalh

    Hi,

    I have a severe mental illness that either doesn’t allow me to work or only for short times in and out of work.

    I want to work but know my limitations. The mortgage support rules are making life difficult for me. Mortgage Support lasts for 2 years only, and even, stepping into part-time work drops the support. In addition, if a relapse should occur, the wait for Mortgage Support is rumoured to climb for 3 months to 39 weeks leaving people with unstable disabilities in a lot of debt. Readings on the Universal Credit calculator falsely showing a better off calculation that is positive by including help with rent when I have mortgage interest. Compared to the old ‘better’ off calculations, I would be able to manage, mentally and financially, part-time work in the future – not so with the UC calculator. Is the government forcing people who have a mortgage into more expensive rented accommodation as a result of their disability?

    How does the new ‘tax credit’ equivalent compare and where can we find a more accurate result? My local job centre don’t know anything about this new system.

    In addition, the new Universal Credit is being harsher on people working part-time. However, what if that’s all that their illness/condition allows them to do? Should they be punished twice?

    Please advise.

    Amanda Jones

    • Dear Amanda,

      Thank you for your comment.

      As you have pointed out, under Universal Credit mortgage holders will only receive housing support when they are out of work, after a waiting period, and for a fixed amount of time.

      This information is available to users of the calculator in a pop up box when they select both ‘Owner Occupier’ and ‘Have a Mortgage’:

      “If you are not entitled to mortgage support, you should not enter anything into the ‘Rent’ box on the calculator. If you feel you are entitled, enter your mortgage interest in the ‘Rent’ box. This will give you a more accurate calculation of your Universal Credit entitlement.”

      People working a low number of hours should be better off financially under Universal Credit since it has done away with the tax credits hours threshold and has increased the amount you can earn before your UC award is reduced.

      I believe your question may be referring to in-work conditionality which will mean that people may be expected to earn a certain amount, potentially requiring part-time workers to take up more hours. However, this will depend on your personal circumstances and due to your illness, you may not be subject to any conditionality.

      If advice organisations are having difficulty explaining Universal Credit and welfare reform, they should contact us about the premium version of the Universal Credit Calculator.

      I hope that helps.

  36. Good evening, I have had a read and am still at a loss as to what will happen for our family. My husband works approx. 25 hrs a week self employed about 9,000 a year.. I am a stay at home mum with 4 children , aged 14, 11, 9 and 18 months. We get ctc and wtc. Will the amounts change for the ctc and wtc and do they become universal credit. We have a mortgage and don’t claim any housing benefit or other benefits. I can give more detail for ctc/wtc figures if needed. Thank you in advance.

    • Dear Deb,

      Universal Credit will replace six benefits: income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits, and Housing Benefit. When your claim is moved over to Universal Credit, you will no longer receive Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits, but a Universal Credit award.

      The amounts people will be entitled to vary. Try entering your circumstances into our Universal Credit Calculator to get an estimate of your UC entitlement.

      When you get to Step 4, look at the chart on the right. This will show your circumstances, taking into account your husband’s earnings from work. It will show you a breakdown of your future UC entitlement. Elements of the current system and UC are not directly equivalent, but ‘Child Support’ is similar to Child Tax Credits and ‘Base Award’ is similar to Working Tax Credits.

      I hope that helps.

  37. I have just tried to use the Universal Credit Calculator. I am 41 years old, single parent and I have one child aged 14 and currently on JSA. According to your calculator, I am entitled to £00.00 – how am I suppose to live?

    • Dear Julie,

      From the circumstances you have described, you should be entitled to support under Universal Credit, but we cannot be sure without your full set of circumstances. (For example, if you have savings of over £16,000, you would not be eligible.)

      Please try your calculations again and reply to this comment with your full set of circumstances if you still have questions about your results.

  38. Wow I just done this calculator in work 24 hrs 2 kids family worse off by -£143 a week in work

    • Dear Frankie,

      Thanks for your comment.

      It is one of Universal Credit’s main goals to make people better off in work than on benefits so we are sorry to hear that you believe that this is not the case for your family.

      It is difficult to comment on your calculation without knowing the full set of circumstances that you have entered into the calculator.

      If you would like us to look into your case further, please reply to this comment with the full set of circumstances that you have entered.

  39. I have done the calculations & according to the results I will be better off by £70.53 per week. I currently work 25 hours a week on NMW & have no dependants or savings. Surely this figure can’t be right?

    • Dear Tina,

      It is difficult to comment on your calculation without knowing the full set of circumstances that you have entered into the calculator. However, with the information given, you should be better off in work under Universal Credit.

      To clarify, the ‘better off’ amount that you see in Step 4 is your better off in work figure. This is how much better off you are in work under Universal Credit in comparison to being out of work under Universal Credit.

      The premium version includes a better off in work calculation between the current system and Universal Credit.

  40. My husband works 35 hours a week, I am a stay at home mum, we have 4 children, 1 of whom is disabled (high rate), we receive working tax credit & child tax credit. Will we be entitled to a child disability element when we are switched to universal credit?

    • Dear Mandy,

      If your child qualifies for the highest rate of DLA, you should be entitled to the child disability addition under Universal Credit.

      The severely disabled child addition is payable for any child receiving the highest rate of the DLA care component or a child who is registered blind. The disabled child addition is payable for any child who receives any rate of either DLA component (mobility or care) except for the highest rate of the DLA care component.

      The elements of Universal Credit will replace the extra Child Tax Credits that are payable to families with disabled children, but DLA will remain the same.

      If you would like to get an estimate of your Universal Credit entitlement, try using our free Universal Credit Calculator.

  41. hi im a single mother of three boys.
    their 7,11,14. my eldest atends a special needs school he will be 15 a week on sat and just recived 2 more years of dla ..I recive carers allowince for being his carer also ..we live in private let accomidations my rent is 750 a month i have no savings what happens with us with this universal credit?? as im totaly confused with the hole thing tried using the calculator but will not download onto my fone for androyed ..i have no other way of internet use ,

    • Dear Diane,

      I am sorry to hear that you are unable to access the Universal Credit Calculator app on your phone. Do you get an error when you try to download it?

      You may be able to access the internet for free at you local library so that you could use the web version of the calculator yourself.

      Otherwise, we could complete a calculation for you, but would need more information on your circumstances. We would need to know: which local authority area you live in, how big your property is, what rate of DLA your son is receiving, and if you are in work. If you would like us to calculate your Universal Credit award, please reply to this comment with that information.

  42. garth hessey.

    I have worked for some 42 years and thanks to the government hatred of local government was made redundant lost my home having to use the mortgage rescue scheme leaving me with 76,000 short fall I have two children 12, 14 and because I have a pension I will be over 100 a month worse off according to the rules and MUCH worse off than some one who has not worked. I am sick of hearing how those in work are being helped and council tax frozen etc. My base rate council tax has gone up and the amount I have to pay has tripled. People who have worked all their lives are treated as though they have unearned income, their pension, while the never worked brigade laugh. Universal credit gives no credit for having worked. You simply trot out the We are sorry you will be worse off answer, its not the aim of the policy.

    • Dear Gareth,

      Thank you for sharing your situation with us.

      I would like to first clarify that Policy in Practice is an independent organisation that seeks to explain government policy, and its impact on people in a clear and simple way. As such, Universal Credit is a government policy and one we can only influence through our campaigning work on policy, and by sharing stories like yours.

      The means-testing of benefits happens under both the current benefit system and Universal Credit, which leads to similar problems as the one you find yourself. Under the current system, income from pensions are also treated as unearned income which causes a reduction in benefits. For example, under the current system Pension Credit has a pound-for-pound reduction for any unearned income. Universal Credit applies a similar rule.

      The principle behind this is that people who have other sources of income should receive less Universal Credit than those who do not. Those that miss out on support because of means-testing are often those, like yourself, with a strong work history and are often left most frustrated by the system. How would you like to see the rules changed?

      Policy in Practice has argued for both an increase in the savings limit, so households with some level of savings over £16,000 continue to be entitled to support, and for a reduction in the withdrawal rate so people in work, but on lower incomes get to keep an even greater share of their earnings from work.

      • garth hessey.

        The key is in making work pay when you have worked and now cannot it is ridiculous to say you have worked hard all your life but are penalised while never worked well not officially gets treated better. Stop treating pensions as unerned income so that the prudent dont get hit while the imprudent get more.

    • Andrew Roberts

      I sympathise with you, I have a pension I cannot claim because the fund managers so screwed it up it no longer comes anywhere near paying out what it was supposed to, not even the guaranteed minimum at age 65. It was supposed to pay me £38,000pa with the option of taking early retirement at age 50 onwards, not a chance, I can’t even get it at age 63 and in ill health. I will be lucky if I get £8,000pa and no lump sum. We are really screwed in this country, the whole establishment is rigged that way and the crooks get away with it and then to add insult to injury they, these money grabbing toe-rags attack and stigmatise the poorest in society. Just read up on what that fool Cameron said about our young people yesterday, an insult difficult to take in. It was his party the Conservatives followed by an incompetent Labour party that created the conditions where our young can’t find work. Roll on the revolution.

  43. Andrew Roberts

    I have worked all my life from the age of 14 (in fact I even worked before that part time plus did a paper round) but unfortunately became ill with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease at age 59, this was just after changing jobs due to the stress brought on by my management job and long hours.

    I did not claim a penny from the state for almost six months wrongly believing I could not claim because I had savings, I then went onto Employment and Support allowance because I was still seriously ill. Shortly after I was sent for a ATOS medical examination and although I was completely honest with the examiner telling him that thanks to the drugs I was now having to take, my weight, which had gone down to less than 10 stone, I’m six feet tall had now gone up to almost 15 stone giving the appearance of being a picture of health, far from it when blood is pouring from your backside and you are constantly in pain. No matter, to my absolute shock and horror I was passed as fit to work and much to the delight of a local council employee who I contacted about my rent as my benefit stopped straight away.

    I did start to go through the appeal procedure but decided after receiving a nasty phone call from the appeals department snidely saying ‘well even if you win, we will still keep checking up on you ever 6 months and send you for more examinations’ I told her to stick it.

    What a disgraceful way to treat someone after a lifetimes work and then everyday I read in the press and watch on the TV politicians irresponsibly stigmatising genuinely benefit claimants many of whom are only out of work because of the incompetence of the politicians who have destroyed our industry and lined their pockets in the process. Disgraceful, I’m now encouraging my children to leave this country because of the prison camp mentality of those we put our trust in to act in our best interests.

  44. I am a disabled person suffering from schizophrenia and narcissistic personality disorder.
    I would like to know if it would be possible to use the premium version of the calculator.
    It is hard for me to go into public places since I get aggressive and am a danger to others.
    Sometimes I am able but bare in mind this is when I have a security guard present.
    This is why I am unable to go to the job centre and in most cases I need to be handcuffed.
    (No Joke!).
    It would be good to know if I could work 10 hours or more without loosing to much money.
    Work is purely good therapy for myself because it stops the depression.

    Anyway. Thank you.

    • Dear Shane,

      We are working hard to make more premium features available on the free version, but unfortunately at this time the premium version is only available under licence to organisations.

      I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble accessing the Jobcentre. Ultimately they will be best placed to advise you on your options and how moving into work will affect you personally. Have you tried to get advice over the phone rather than in person? (Their number is 0845 6060 234 / 01603 248701.)

      It sounds like you’ve already tried using the free version of the calculator. This should show you the impact of taking up work under Universal Credit. You will be better off in work regardless of the number of hours you work under UC.

      Under the current system, it would depend on what type of benefit you are receiving, whether it is Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. A single person on JSA would get to keep £5/week of their earnings, but after this your JSA will be reduced £ for £ and you will lose eligibility at 16 hours. So at 10 hours, you will likely not see much financial benefit from working.

      A single person on ESA would get to keep £20/week of their earnings before any benefits are withdrawn. However, you could get to keep more of your earnings through “permitted work” – if you work less than 16 hours and earn less than £99.50/week (£101.00 from April 2014) you get to keep all of your earnings before you benefits are affected. For people in the Work-related Activity Group, you can do “permitted work” for 52 weeks, but people in the Support Group can do “permitted work” indefinitely.

      This information is to help you determine whether or not you will be financially ‘better off’ in work, but as you have said in your comment, there are other benefits to being in work so it worth bearing this in mind when making a decision.

      I hope that helps.

  45. Hi there

    If possible can someone please help explain how the MIF or Minimum Income Floor works? I am self employed, I work more than 40 hours a week. My income, which grows a little each year, only averages about £100-£150 each week. Will I be penalised for earning too little?

    I have been running this business for 2 years and have invested a fair amount of my own personal money, time and have made a large salary sacrifice too. What I am trying to determine is whether Universal Credits will force me to give up on my business and return to working for someone else?

    If anyone has any advice I welcome it.
    Thanks.

    • Dear Jay,

      The Minimum Income Floor will not apply to self-employed people who are transitioned onto Universal Credit from other benefits or tax credits for 6 months. In addition, existing claims will only be migrated onto Universal Credit in 2016, so you have some time before the Minimum Income Floor might apply to you.

      Essentially the Minimum Income Floor assumes that self-employed people earn the National Minimum Wage and work the number of hours they are expected to work. If you’re a single person with no children or caring responsibilities, this would mean that you would be expected to earn: £6.31*35 hours = £220.85 each week. If you earn less than this, the Minimum Income Floor will assume that you earn this amount to calculate your Universal Credit.

      To find out more about the Minimum Income Floor and self-employment under Universal Credit, you can see the DWP’s guidance document here.

  46. Hello. Please can you answer a query for me about Universal Credit for homeowners. I’m a 35 yr old single female currently on income-based Jobseekers Allowance. I’m also 7 weeks pregnant with my first child. I own my own home (no rent /mortgage). It was left to me through a relative of my ex husband. Can you tell me if I will not be able to claim Universal Credit because I own my own home outright ? This is the only house I have to live in. When I do move to Universal Credit, I will be an existing claimant – will this make any difference ? Very worried. Please help me. Thank you.

    • Daniel Cavanillas

      Hello Fiona;

      It is unlikely that you will be able to receive Universal Credit just yet as a homeowner. When Universal Credit is expanded to include homeowners, owner-occupiers like yourself will still be able to claim the other elements of Universal Credit (base element, support for children).

      For the time being you should be able to remain in Jobseeker’s Allowance, and your local Job Centre will let you know when you can transfer to Universal Credit.

      Daniel

  47. Hello

    I’m currently on zero contract hours some weeks I can be 10 hours and sometimes it can 25 hours. How will this affect my universal credit. I have a wife who looks after my 15 month old daughter. I read somewhere that universal credit will connect with the payroll system of the company I work for. So will the universal credit go up and down every month according to the hours I work. I think universal credit should been brought in years ago as it pays to be part time worker.

    • Hi John,

      Thank you for your comment. It is nice to hear that you welcome Universal Credit.

      If the company you work for is using Pay As You Earn (PAYE) it will share your earnings with the Universal Credit system in real time through Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). If your employer is not registered on PAYE in real time you will have to report your earnings yourself through the Universal Credit helpline. You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/404224/uc-faq.pdf

      You are right, Universal Credit will go up and down depending on the hours you worked in the previous month. Given that Universal Credit will be paid based on your earnings from the previous month, your combined income from Universal Credit and earnings could vary quite a lot from month to month. You can read more on this in our report about Universal Credit on page 61.

  48. Universal credit when i initial applied for it seemed like a good idea, as i was doing temp work with agencies it saved me having to go through the process of reclaiming benefit , when i wasn’t working.

    Now though i have a different opinion. Nobody explained to me at the initial interview that if i work two weeks and then dont work for three weeks, my payment does not include the weeks i didnt get any work, your payment of Universal Credit it depends on how much you earned during the two weeks you did work. Under the JSA rules if i didnt work for three weeks i would get 3 weeks unemployment benefit, regardless how much i had earned during the two weeks i did work.

    Its no wonder the government has welcomed Universal Credit, after all , if everyones claim is the same as mine they are saving a fortune. I had to work a week in hand for the agencies , so i therefore received a weeks pay a week after i last worked, this payment was used as part of my earnings, despite the fact that this was for payment for work that i had done before i had made a claim. I even asked for my claim to be backdated a week as i had had no work for a week, thinking that i would get my unemployment and housing benefit. According to the benefit calculator here and the governments calculation i would get 732.83 a month, after 5 weeks i received a payment of £283 which is supposed to cover all my rent & living costs for 5 weeks ,also the money i had earned as well of course. Apparantley i was supposed to be 349.87 a month better off by working and claiming UC yet i received less as a payment than the amount i was supposed to be better off. I am now 5 days away from having to pay my monthly rent and have £197 of my £500 overdraft available to me until the 4th july?

    • Hi Martin,

      I am sorry to hear about your negative experience with Universal Credit.

      It is difficult to comment on your case without knowing all the details. If you feel like you didn’t receive the correct amount you should talk to your JobCentre advisor, or call the Universal Credit Helpline at 0345 600 0723 to discuss your case.

      Whilst it is true that Universal Credit is assessing claims based on monthly income compared to the weekly focus of the current system, this does not mean that you will automatically be worse off. Under Universal Credit 3.1 million households will actually have a higher entitlement, compared to 2.8 million households who will have a lower entitlement. Especially people in work will benefit from a higher work allowance, which means you can earn more without losing any benefits.

  49. Ms Deborah Elliott

    Hi
    i am a single divorced person i have one daughter living with me she is on jsa and looking for work i currently work 16 hrs per week and cannot do any more as i have health issues my daughter is a non dependent i was working 12 hours a week and because i have been struggling since my children were born i decided to up my hours by 4 which meant i have been working 16 hrs when my money went up i let my housing benefit and c tax benefit know when i finally received my award i was so angry i am earning doing the extra 4 hours £136.00 per month and was shocked to see that they are taking £125.00 a month for my rent and c tax i did these extra hours to have this money to live on and have a bit of a life instead of exsisting and all i have left of it is £20.72 i also have to pay towards my dental and eye care to have one tooth done i have to pay £44.00 as i only get a limited help with nhs costs certificate i now am having to go back to my old hours of 12 a week i am sick to death of all of these governments especially cameron lining their own pockets and leaving people who are trying to work and earn an honest living we are the ones who are struggling all the time its always the poor who get shafted in this country well now hes got in for another 5 years god help us all thats all i can say my only hope is that i can apply for uc and hopefully it will make me better off but i seriously dought it

    • Daniel Cavanillas

      Hello Deborah;

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

      The problem you mention is a consequence of the high withdrawal rate of benefits: for every extra pound that you’re earning at your job, your Housing Benefit is reduced by 65p and your Council Tax Support, by another 20p. This is something that we have often argued against, since it means that people like you don’t have a strong economic incentive to work.

      It is possible that you would be better off under Universal Credit – although the changes to work allowances that will be applied after April 2016 will also make you lose more money in work. Unfortunately, it seems like the benefits system is not great at encouraging people like you to work more hours.

      Good luck;

      Policy in Practice

  50. I’m not good at all the money etc as my partner works it all out. I have a nearly 2 year old and me and my partner both work at Morrisons and i work 16 hours and he works 39 hours. Working around my partner is really tough and i work on his days off but its getting harder. We have a morgage but was wondering if i was to quit work and stay at home would it affect us with a morgage and the benefits we get. Don’t want to quit if we lose our house but yet its getting too hard with us both working.

    • Daniel Cavanillas

      Hi Joanne;

      It’s hard to comment on your particular case, so I would recommend that you use our free Universal Credit Calculator and enter some basic information about you. This will give you an indication of the effect that working different hours will have on your income as an owner-occupier.

      As a general point, under Universal Credit owner-occupiers cannot get support for their mortgage interest if they are working. So if you are receiving Universal Credit and either you or your partner work, you will not receive any payments to help with your mortgage – although you may still receive payments to help with other costs.

      Under the current benefits system, you can receive support for mortgage interest even if you’re in work. If you quit your job, it is likely that you may receive a bit more in benefits to make up for the money you no longer earn.

      Daniel

  51. This is my first time claiming universal credit,I’m 34,but had started a joint claim in september for childcare costs as my then partner and I work but I pay her nursery fees (my little lady is 14 months) and I only work 18 hours. Unfortunately it’s been a headache from the start although the staff (roughly ten phone calls lasting half an hour plus six job centre interviews) have been fantastic and very helpful it’s just not getting us any further. Then unfortunately my partner and I split up (amicably) so I have changed my circumstances but I’m worried it will take a long time and I have bills ect to pay. I have an interview next week but he moves out a week later?? I will still be working/paying for childcare so the only thing that will be different is losing my ex partners wage. Feeling a bit nervous as I don’t want to get into debt so any advice would be appreciated,many thanks.

    • Jethro Martin

      Hi Hayley,

      Thanks for your question.

      You will likely be entitled to certain elements of Universal Credit, though without knowing more about your circumstances I’m afraid I can’t tell you how much you’ll receive. The amount you will get depends on your circumstances and income – you will receive an extra amount as you have a child and you may receive help with your housing costs. You can use our free Policy in Practice Universal Credit Calculator here, which will tell you what you are entitled to.

      If there is any more we can do to help, please post here.

  52. hi all i am 35, i work 18 hours per week, am looking to rent a property i did check the turn2us calculator and the result shows that i am entitled to £170 HB and £239 UC per week, in total..£1750 per month plus £650 wages.
    the rent is about £1100 per month.. does it sound right? or am i dreaming?

    • Jethro Martin

      Hi Madsen,

      Thanks for your question.

      Universal Credit (UC) is currently being rolled out in certain areas of the UK and will replace many benefits including Housing Benefit – so you won’t receive both Universal Credit and Housing Benefit at the same time (for more details see here). Having said that there is a housing element to UC, is that what you’re referring to? Unfortunately without more details of your circumstances I can’t tell you how much you are entitled to, however you can use our free Policy in Practice Universal Credit Calculator here.

      If there is any more we can do to help, please post here.

  53. TEMPORARY WORK. After claiming UC for 10 months, I can confirm that it is making me significantly worse off than JSA. I believe that this is part of the design for UC and not an unintentional mistake. If I don’t work for a UC month, I get the same money as JSA, however as soon as I start working the disadvantages become clear. I am single with no housing element, so entitled to £317 per month. As an electrician I may earn around £500 per week, but most jobs are temporary agency jobs. Consider the following; I receive one weeks money in a month, calculate UC – 500*0.63=315. My UC is reduced to £2 for the month! On JSA I would have been paid for the other three weeks, say 73*3=219. I am instantly around £200 per month worse off on UC than JSA! On JSA over a four week period I would get 200+500=700. On UC 500+2=502. If I worked for two weeks in a month I would get £0 on UC, but get two weeks JSA at say 73*2=146. So total income working two weeks in a month £1000 for UC and £1146 for JSA. BUT this is where it gets really bad. IF you only get two weeks work in two months AND get paid a week of it each in each UC assessment period, then the following happens; On UC- two weeks wages £1000+ two months UC £2 = £1004. On JSA £1000 in wages + 6 weeks at £73= £438, £1438 in total. So in this worst case UC swindles me out of at least six weeks JSA. The figures are even worse than the ones I suggest as I have used three weeks for JSA for simplicity’s sake instead of calculating the true calendar month totals. JSA was paid at weekends, in fact if you worked Mon to Fri for one week in a month, you only lost five days money at around £10 per day! In conclusion I contend that UC is a money saving exercise which penalises those who go to work. The monthly calculation is a clever way of not paying out at all or at best at a reduced rate. JSA was far superior – you lost £10 per each day worked, it paid out almost immediately on ceasing work and it was simple. The above comments apply to anyone who gets the housing element as well, anyone who takes temporary short term on off work is severely penalised by UC.

    • Jethro Martin

      Hi Simon,

      Thank you for your comment.

      It is true that Universal Credit works in this way and that, for someone in your position, the old system would have provided you with more support. Many organisation argue that UC is underfunded; this is a prominent criticism of the new system.

      You may be able to apply for a ‘budgeting advance’ if you are struggling – you can find more information on that here.

      If there is anything else we can do to help please post here.

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