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How much Universal Credit someone gets is dependent on their earnings and their circumstances but there is no limit on the amount of hours they can work, however the more they earn the less they will get. Some people will be able to keep all their earnings but those who are earning more will see their payments gradually reduce – for every £1 they earn their payment reduces by 63p.
Both people who are out of work and those who are in employment can apply for Universal Credit, but those who are working will get a reduced amount.
The Standard Allowance for Universal Credit is usually £324.84 a month for an individual over 25-years-old.
Then there are other factors to be considered such as housing costs and whether the claimant has children.
For example the Child Element of Universal Credit could add another £237 plus a month and the housing element will add even more.
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To attempt to cut through the confusion, the government website sets out the example below:
An individual has a child and gets money for housing costs included in their Universal Credit payment. This person is in work and earns £500 during their assessment period.
Their work allowance is £293. This means they can earn £293 without any money being deducted.
For every £1 of the remaining £207 they get, 63p is taken from their Universal Credit payment. So £207 x £0.63 = £130.41.
This means they earn £500 and £130.41 is deducted from their Universal Credit.
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As the amount someone can claim is largely affected by individual circumstances it’s best to input details into a benefits calculator for a true figure.
It’s always worth checking if someone is entitled to extra help, according to Government figures millions are missing out on thousands of pounds in unclaimed benefits because they don’t realise they can still claim Universal Credit when they are in work.
National charity Turn2Us is campaigning to ensure these benefits don’t go unclaimed – it estimates over £15billion in benefits are going unclaimed every year which could amount to £2,900 per family.
They believe it’s important to raise awareness of what people are entitled to to help those who are struggling financially.
Sonya Ruparel, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at Turn2Us, said: “There is an endemic issue of unclaimed benefits in the UK.
“The confusing, sometimes hostile, and often stigmatising world of social security has led to millions of people not claiming their entitlements.”
The charity has launched a new calculator and guidance to help people work out what they could be entitled to – other benefits calculators are available at gov.uk.
And it’s not just Universal Credit that claimants could be missing out on, the £15billion includes Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Child Benefit and PIP.
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Some people will be allowed to earn more and keep all their earnings, depending on how many children they have and other factors like whether they have a disability or health condition.
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people who are on a low income.
It has replaced six other benefits with a single monthly payment for people who are out of work or on a low income.
The government website has a handy benefits calculator to help people work out whether it’s worth making a claim.
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