Universal Credit (UC) - Can I get Universal Credit (UC)?
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income.
- Last reviewed 29 November 2023
Can I get Universal Credit (UC)?
Whether you can claim Universal Credit depends on your personal circumstances. If you are receiving any legacy benefits, you will lose these if you claim Universal Credit, and will not be able to go back on them.
To claim Universal Credit you must:
- Be 18 or over (some under 18s can claim Universal Credit. See our guide for 16-18 year olds)
- Be in Great Britain
- Not be in education (some people in education can claim Universal Credit. See our guides for full-time students and part-time students)
- Have accepted a claimant commitment (unless you have a terminal illness or lack mental capacity).
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.
In most cases, you have to be under 66. If you live with a partner and one of you is over pension age and one is under, you can claim Universal Credit. However, you might have other options too. Use our Benefits Calculator to see all your options.
What if I am ill or disabled?
Most people with illnesses or disabilities can claim Universal Credit.
What if I am aged 16 or 17 years?
You should look at our page on claiming benefits as a young person.
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 66. You would claim Pension Credit instead of Universal Credit.
If one member of a couple is pension age and the other one is working age, you will usually need to claim Universal Credit. There are some exceptions to this. Use our Benefits Calculator to check which benefits you can claim.