How much can I earn before Universal Credit is reduced?

OVER five million working and non-working Brits currently claim Universal Credit in order to make ends meet.

But with government handouts proving more crucial than ever before, just how much financial help can you get from this state benefit?

How much can you earn and still get Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a monthly payment that reduces the more you earn. 

If you are working your Universal Credit payment will reduce gradually the more you earn.

So for every £1 you earn your payment reduces by 63p.

Therefore the maximum you could earn a month and still be entitled to the standard allowance is £650.62.

The total amount of benefits you can receive is capped at £20,000 a year outside Greater London if you’re in a relationship or a single parent and your children live with you. 

It is £13,400-a-year if you live alone. 

Inside Greater London, the equivalent thresholds are £23,000 and £15,140. 

The amount you can earn before your Universal Credit payments are reduced is called your monthly work allowance – and this varies depending on your circumstances.

From April 2020, the standard monthly allowance if you’re single and under 25 is £342.72, or £409.89 if you’re older. 

If you and your partner are both under 25 it is £488.59 for you both – or £594.04 for over 25s.

But you could get extra money on top of your standard monthly allowance if you have children, a disability or health condition that prevents you working, or support paying rent. 

For your first child you’ll receive an additional £281.25 if they were born before April 6 2017 or £235.83 if they were born on or after April 6 2017. 

You’ll get £235.83 per child for your second and other eligible children. 

What counts as earnings for Universal Credit?

Any money you receive from salaried or self-employed work counts as well as surplus earnings – which is money carried forward from the previous month. 

If you earned more than £2,500 above the amount when your Universal Credit payment stopped, this money counts towards the next month’s earnings. 

Only when your surplus has gone can you reclaim Universal Credit. 

How many hours can you work without it affecting Universal Credit?

There is no limit to how many hours you can work. 

Universal Credit payments are calculated on your base salary – not your hours of work.

To qualify you must usually be over 18 but under state pension age, a low earner or out of work, live in the UK and have less than £16,000 in savings between you and your partner. 

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