Universal Credit is a state-benefit received on monthly basis to support individuals on low-income in meeting their lviing costs. Through this article, we aim to learn whether self0employed individuals can calim Universal Credit or not. For a detailed overview of how the beenfit applies to individuals, we will also dicuss whether people in jobs, unemeployed individuals, stay at home mums or home oweners can claim eligibility for Universal Credit.

Can I Claim Universal Credit If I Am Self-Employed?

Yes, you can claim Universal Credit if you are self-employed; as long as you can prove that you are “gainfully self-employed”. This means that you should be able to prove the following:

  • you main source of income or primary job is through self-employment
  • you expect to make a profit from your self-employed venture
  • you are able to get regular work from self-employment
  • your work through self employment has financial records such as invoices and receipts, or accounts

However; the payments that you receive for your Universal Credit claim may change each month as they will vary depending on the amount that you earn. This means that self-employed claimants of universal Credit are required to report their monthly earnings to the DWP each month.

There is a certain amount of income that the DWP expects self-employed claimtans to earn. This is called the monimum floor. If your earnings are below the minimum floor, the DWP will consider them equal to the monimum floor and your Universal Credit payments will be based ont his amount. This measn that in order to make up for the differential amount, you may need to consider another source of income.

However, if your earnings exceed the minimum floor, the DWP wil consider them on actual basis to assign your Universal Credit claim. This is the reason why a change in monthly earnings during self-empoyment change the amount of Universal Credit payments that claiamnts are able to recieve.

To apply for a Universal Credit claim online, you will need the following:

  • bank, building society or credit union account details
  • an email address
  • access to a phone
  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card
  • payslip or P60

 

Can I Claim Universal Credit If I Buy A House?

Yes, you can buy a house if you are claiming Universal Credit.

However, you must be on benefits for at least 39 weeks without a break in between; also you should not be in receipt of any of the below forms on incomes:

  • Earnings from your job (whether you are employed or self-employed)
  • A tax refund
  • Statutory Adoption Pay
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Statutory Paternity Pay
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Statutory Shared Parental Pay

This is also applicable in case you intend to purchase a house through a  joint ownership scheme. In this case, you will also be able to claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Cost element for your monthly rental or mortgage payments. 

Additionally, you can claim Universal Credit to make payments related to your home; such as:

  • the cost of purchasing the property
  • home insurance
  • repairs and maintenance

This is irrespective of whether you choose to purchase your house on a cash basis, through mortgage payments or by taking a bank loan.

You may also qualify for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) if you are on Universal Credit and plan to buy a house. SMI is a loan that helps you make mortgage payments or repay loans regarding repairs and maintenance of your house and can cover mortgage payments of up to £200,000.

Can I Claim Universal Credit If I Am A Stay At Home Mum?

Yes, stay at home mums can claim Universal Credit. To qualify for Universal Credit, claimants must be able to fulfil the below eligibility criteria:

  • aged between 18 (in some cases it may be 16 or 17) and state pension age
  • unemployed or on low income
  • between the claimant and their partner, total savings are less than £6,000
  • experiencing high costs for child care
  • suffering from a disability or health condition
  • caring for someone else

The amount of Universal Credit that an individual receives depends on their personal circumstances and income (if any). For instance, someone who is single and younger than 25 years of age will be eligible for Universal Credit amounting to around £257 per month. Meanwhile, this amount will rise to around £509 for someone who is living with a partner and either one of them or both of them are above the age of 25.

Can I Claim Universal Credit If I Quit My Job?

Yes, you can claim Universal Credit if you quit your job voluntarily. However, it is essential that are able to prove a “good reason” for quitting your job if you want to continue receiving your Universal Credit payments without any deductions from the Department for Work and Pension.

A good reason for leaving your job may include (but are not necessarily limited to) any of the following:

  • constructive discharge from your workplace
  • medical reasons that hamper your output/ability to work
  • better employment at another job
  • facing domestic violence at home
  • to care for a family member

According to Citizen’s Advice, good reasons for leaving your job (that will not affect your Universal Credit) payments include the following:

  • taking voluntary redundancy due to reasonable circumstances
  • weren’t paid according to the National Minimum Wage 
  • did not feel safe due to the lack of health and safety standards in the working conditions 
  • did not feel safe due to fear of being bullied or harassed 
  • worked on  a zero-hour contract

You must be able to provide evidence of the reason that you claim for your resignation. If you are unable to claim a “good reason” for leaving your job and it appears to the DWP that you have voluntarily become unemployed, you will possibly face a sanction on your Universal Credit payments. This means that you will be paid a reduced amount of the benefit for a period of three months before you become entitled to the original amount.

When Do I Tell Universal Credit I Have A Job?

You should inform the Department for Work and Pensions immediately when you have a job, an increase in pay or any other change in circumstances that affect your eligibility criteria or the scale of payments that you receive in the form of Universal Credit (or any other state benefit). 

It is understandable that with a rise in income, you will face a reduction in your benefits. In the case of Universal Credit, for every £1 that you (or your partner earn), 55p will be counted as income during your Universal Credit calculation. While communicating a change to the DWP, you should state your disposable income in such cases, which is the take-home amount after your deduction of taxes, NIC and pension fund from your gross income.

If you or your partner have to take care of a child and one of you have limited capability for work, you may be able to claim a work allowance despite one of the partners having a job. However, if you were taking the help of Universal Credit to pay mortgage interest payments, you will lose that claim once you get a job.

It must be kept in view that your Universal Credit payment does not automatically stop when you get a job. You will continue to receive the benefit, however, the amount will be reduced depending on your wages.

Which Change In Circumstances Affect Universal Credit?

Certain changes in your circumstances can bear an impact on the benefits you receive including Universal Credit. If you hide such facts from the authorities with the intention to avoid a reduction in your benefits, you may be penalised or taken to court. Therefore, it is advisable if you face any of the following situations, you must inform the relevant authorities by signing in to your Universal Credit account

  • a new mobile number, postal or email address
  • a change in your bank details
  • change of residence due to moving in with a partner
  • having a child
  • changes to your health condition
  • being unable to work due to an illness
  • starting to care for a child or disabled person
  • finding or finishing a job
  • changes to your earnings, savings, investments
  • changes to rental payments
  • changes to your immigration status (in case you’re not a British citizen)

How Much Can I Claim With Universal Credit?

The basic rate for Universal Credit (without top-ups for housing and childcare) can be classified as follows:

  • If you are single and under 25, you can claim £257.33 a month
  • If you are single and 25 or over, you can claim £324.84 a month
  • If you are living with a partner and both of you are under 25, you can claim £403.93 a month
  • If you are living with a partner and one or both of you are over 25, you can claim  £509.91 a month

Conclusion:

This detailed discussion makes it clear that as aslong as self employed incidivals can prove taht they are “gainfully self employed”, they can make a claim for Universal Credit payments. Infact, as long as individuals meet the elgiibility criteria fro Universal Credit, they can claim the beenfit whether they are employed, une,ployed, stay at home parents, single parents or homewoners. 

FAQs: Can I Claim Universal Credit If I Am Self-Employed?

What benefits can I claim if I’m self-employed?

Depending on whether or not a claimant meets the eligibility creitiers, self en=mployed indivdiauls can apply for Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support. Pension Credit, or Housing Benefit.

How does UC work for self-employed?

Yes, you can claim Universal Credit if you are self-employed; as long as you can prove that you are “gainfully self-employed”. However; the payments that you receive for your Universal Credit claim may change each month as they will vary depending on the amount that you earn. This means that self-employed claimants of universal Credit are required to report their monthly earnings to the DWP each month.

What is the minimum Universal Credit payment?

The minimum Universal Credit payment that you can recieve is £257.33 a month if you are a single claimant under the age of 25 years, £324.84 a month if you are a single claimant aged 25 years or above and £403.93 a month for joint claimants who are both under 25 years of age.

How many hours do I need to work for Universal Credit?

In order to claim Universal Credit, claimants are expected to work 25 hours a week or spend the same amount per week looking for work. This includes preparing a resume, applying for jobs, undertaking work rleated trainings, etc. 

How much money can you have in the bank and still claim benefits UK?

You can have £10,000 in the bank and still be able to claim beenfits in the UK. If you get Pension Credit, you can have £16,000 in the bank and still claim benefits.

References:

How-universal-credit-payments-work-if-youre-self-employed

Universal-credit-and-self-employment-quick-guide

Universal-credit/how-to-claim

New-to-universal-credit/self-employment

Universal Credit and you – GOV.UK

Can I claim Universal Credit if I leave my job voluntarily?

Can I be a stay at home mum and claim Universal Credit?

Can You Claim Benefits If You Own A House?.

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