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Universal Credit: Winners and losers

  • 24/04/2019

This article is over a year old

Are you going to be better or worse off in the new system?

Two men peering over wall, one not tall enough

Around one in three people will receive Universal Credit at some point in their life. But will these people be better or worse off than under the previous system?

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has worked out who will be better off and who will be worse off.

Who are the winners and losers?

Depending on your situation, you may be gain or lose income, but Universal Credit entitlement is not that simple. To find out how much you will be expecting, you should use the Benefits Calculator.

However, certain groups of people are more like to see increases or decreases. For example, renters who work are likely to see increases to their incomes, as are couples with children.

Those who can expect to see their incomes decrease includes; people with disabilities, low earning self-employed people, people already on the lowest incomes (the bottom 10%), couples where one member is above state pension age and the other is below, and people with financial assets (such as savings of £6,000 or more).

How much?

Around 8.7 million people will see their entitlements increase or decrease by at least £100. That’s about three-quarters of Universal Credit claimants who can expect to see changes to their incomes.

But who can expect what?


  • 4.2 million adults will gain at least £100 per year
  • 1.6 million adults will gain at least £1,000 a year
  • 1 million adults (in couples) with children will gain at least £1,000 a year.


  • 4.6 million adults will lose at least £100 a year
  • 1.9 million adults will lose at least £1,000 a year
  • 0.4 million lone parents will lose at least  £1,000 a year
  • 0.5 million couples without children will lose at least £1,000 a year
  • 65% of households reliant on self-employment will lose at least £100 a year
  • 22% of people with disabilities will lose at least £1,000 a year.

Matthew Geer, Campaigns Manager at Turn2us, said:

“It is another worrying sign to see that more people will lose out under Universal Credit. We hear every day that these changes are causing more debt, more homelessness and more hunger.

“People already struggling on low incomes, people with disabilities and people suffering on low paid self-employment need more financial support, not less.

“We hope the Government looks closely at this report and makes suitable adjustments.”

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