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Universal Credit (UC) - Can I get Universal Credit (UC)?

Find out more about Universal Credit.

Can I get Universal Credit (UC)?

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances.

To claim Universal Credit you must:

  • be 18 or over (in most cases)

  • be under Pension Credit age

  • be in Great Britain

  • not be in education

  • have accepted a claimant commitment

If you have a partner you will make a joint claim as a couple. If one of you does not meet any of the above conditions, that person will be ignored for the purposes of calculating the Universal Credit maximum amount - although their savings/capital, income and earnings will still be taken into account.

What if I am aged 16 or 17 years?

The minimum age for claiming Universal Credit is 16 years if the 16/17 year old:

  • has limited capability for work;

  • is awaiting an assessment to determine whether they have limited capability for work and has a statement from a medical professional stating they are not fit for work;

  • has regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person;

  • is responsible for a child;

  • is a member of a couple and their partner is entitled to UC and is responsible for a child or a qualifying young person;

  • is pregnant, and it is 11 weeks or less before her expected week of child birth, or was pregnant and it is 15 weeks or less since the date of the birth; or

  • is without parental support.

If you are under 18 and want to know more about your benefit entitlement please seek further advice from a professional advice service. You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find a local adviser.

What if I am over Pension Credit age?

Universal Credit is paid to people of working age and is not a benefit for people who have reached Pension Credit age.  You would claim Pension Credit instead of Universal Credit.

However, if one member of a couple is Pension Credit age and the other one is under, and you live in a Full Digital Service Area, you can claim either Pension Credit or Universal Credit.  You can check whether you are better off on Pension Credit or Universal Credit by using our Benefits Calculator.

As Universal Credit replaces Housing Benefit and Child Tax Credit but is only for working-age people there will be some changes to Pension Credit so that it includes support for rent and an additional amount for pensioners with dependent children.


Updated June 2017

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