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Coronavirus: Universal Credit - Eligibility Rules
Universal Credit - Eligibility Rules

To be entitled to Universal Credit, the claimant (and joint claimant ie partner) must:

    • Pass the Severe Disability Premium 'Gateway'
    • Be aged between 18 and Pension Credit age
    • Have accepted a claimant commitment
    • Not be excluded from claiming - such as some students
    • Be in Great Britain ie  pass the presence and residence tests. 
    • Have savings below £16,000.
    • Have a low enough income given their circumstances.
    • Not be registered for the tax-free childcare scheme.

There are some exceptions to the above rules, such as some 16/17 year olds can claim and not everyone has to have a claimant commitment.

And there are extra rules for some special groups - such as care leavers and 'prisoners'

NOTE: Couples make a joint claim for Universal Credit and usually both have to satisfy all the claiming conditions - although there are exceptions.

NOTE: Having a bank account is not a condition of getting UC - although it does make it easier. So someone should not  delay making their clam whilst they get a bank account set up. They should get their UC account set up online and contact the UC Helpline for help.


Frequently Asked Questions
My hours have reduced at work – I don’t think I will get help from the Job Retention Scheme as I am doing some work, but can I make a claim for Housing Benefit as I am unable to pay my rent?
If you have been working and not getting any benefits you will not be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit. Your only option will be to make a claim for Universal Credit.
If you are going to make a claim for Universal Credit, then consider whether you may be better off long term if you delay this by a few days - click here.

My hours are dropping from Monday. I don't get any benefits at the moment but will need help paying my rent - what can I claim?
As long as you satisfy the basic claiming criteria for Universal Credit you will be able to make a claim. Whether you will have an award paid/how much will depend on your individual circumstances. 
The timing of your UC claim can be important, especially if you are paid monthly (click here) or if you are due a payment of wages in the next few days. If you are not already receiving any help with your Council Tax Bill, you should also make a new claim for Council Tax Support.

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