In addition to the standard amount of Universal Credit payments, claimants can also recieve added elements on top of the basic amount; depending upon their circumstances. Through this blog post, we will mainly discuss the mileage allowance that employed claimants of Universal Credit can claim. However, for an overall view of how the benefit applies to individual circumstances, we will also explore various situations of employment (and unemployment) under which this state benefit can be claimed.

What Is The Universal Credit Mileage Allowance?

The Universal Credit Mileage Allowance is currently 45 pence per mile for the first 833 miles during the assessment period for Universal Credit; followed by 25 pence per mile for every mile over 833 miles. This includes motor vehicles, vans and cars. Meanwhile, the UC Mileage Allowance for motorcycles is 24 pence per mile.

Universal Credit claimants should keep their work coach informed if they incur any work-related expenses that are unreimbursed by their employer. Such expenses reduce the take-home earnings of claimants and can increase their Universal Credit award.

The amount of Universal Credit you qualify for includes all work-related earnings. These may include the following:

  • wages and overtime
  • tips and commission
  • bonuses
  • holiday pay
  • sick pay
  • maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental pay

However, the following are not considered:

  • money paid as income tax and class 1 national insurance contributions
  • money paid into a pension
  • expenses
  • mileage allowances
  • childcare vouchers and other non-cash vouchers

If there is a change in your income, you should inform your work coach. Similarly, the DWP should be kept updated regarding your employment status; whether you start or leave a job.

The standard amount of Universal  Credit payments is classified on the basis of your age and relationship status. These are listed as follows:

  • If you are single and under 25 years of age, you will get £257.33 a month
  • If you are single and 25 years of age or older, you will get £324.84 a month
  • If you are living with a partner and both of you are under 25 years of age, you will jointly get £403.93 a month
  • If you are living with a partner and one or both of you are over 25 years of age, you will jointly get  £509.91 a month

You should inform the DWP if there is a change in your relationship status so that your Universal Credit payments can be adjusted accordingly.

In addition to the standard amount of Universal Credit payments, you will also get separate amounts for:

  • If you have children
  • If you need help with childcare costs 
  • If you need support with housing costs
  • If you are caring for someone
  • If you can’t work due to a sickness or disability
  • If you were previously getting a severe disability premium

These extra amounts are called elements and a claimant can qualify for more than one of them at the same time.

Do I Have To Spend 35 Hours In Job Search To Claim Universal Credit?

If you have agreed in your Claimant Commitment for Universal Credit that you will spend 35 hours per week working or looking for work, you will be required to keep up with this commitment to continue claiming Universal Credit payments. This includes the following activities:

  • drafting an appropriate CV and cover note
  • customising your CV and cover note to each job that you apply for
  • conducting research on employers and transport links
  • setting up online job alerts
  • creating an online employee profile
  • applying for suitable positions
  • following up on job applications
  • social networking with the intent to look for a job
  • preparing for your interview

You must record your activities in order to track your progress and share the results with your work coach. This will serve as evidence that you have managed to keep up with your Claimant Commitment of spending 35 hours looking for a job. Once you do start a job, you can keep the authorities updated on your working hours.

Can Stay At Home Mums Get Universal Credit?

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

If you are a mother whose youngest child is younger than 1 year of age, you will not be expected to look for work while you are on Universal Credit. Below are details of your responsibilities regarding work depending on the age of your child/children if you are claiming Universal Credit:

Age of your youngest childYour responsibilities
Under 1 yearYou don’t need to look for work in order to claim Universal Credit.
1 yearYou don’t need to look for work if you are not already working but you will be asked to attend work-related interviews with a work coach.
2 yearsYou should take active steps to prepare for work including making a CV. 
3 or 4 yearsYou should work or look for work for a maximum of 16 hours per week. This may include training and work-related interviews.
Between 5 and 12 yearsYou should work or look for work for a maximum of 25 hours per week. This may include training and work-related interviews.
13 years and aboveYou should work or look for work for a maximum of 35 hours per week. This may include training and work-related interviews.

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.

What Is A Work Capability For Assessment?

If your Universal Credit claim is based on medical conditions that prevent you from working, you will be asked by the DWP to provide evidence for such a claim and undergo an assessment process. This is termed as a Work Capability for Assessment (WCA) and its purpose is to confirm the medical or disability claim made by applicants of Universal Credit.

During the assessment, applicants will be asked questions (in person or through a video call) regarding their health and how their conditions impact not just their ability to work but also to perform everyday chores.

After this assessment, a WCA form or a UC50 is sent to applicants who will fill in the required information before posting the completed form to the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA) by the date requested.

After your form has been assessed, the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments will send their feedback report to the Universal Credit department at the Department of Work and Pensions. On the basis of your WCA, a decision will be made regarding whether you are fit to work, could be granted limited capability for work or will be assigned limited capability for work and work activity.

What Counts As Income For Universal Credit?

During your benefits calculation by the DWP, not only is your job-related income(s) taken into account, but the authorities will also consider unearned incomes. These are incomes that individuals receive without having to work.  

Unearned incomes that affect your Universal Credit payments include the following:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (new style)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (new style)
  • Pension Income
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • State benefits that aren’t replaced by Universal Credit

For every £1 earned through any of the above means, £1 will be reduced from your Universal Credit payments.

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

Conclusion:

Through the discussion in this article, we have come to learn that the Universal Credit Mileage Allowance is currently 45 pence per mile for the first 833 miles during the assessment period for Universal Credit; followed by 25 pence per mile for every mile over 833 miles. This includes motor vehicles, vans and cars. Meanwhile, the UC Mileage Allowance for motorcycles is 24 pence per mile. Universal Credit claimants are advised to keep their work coach informed if they incur any work-related expenses that are unreimbursed by their employer so that they may be adjusted for when the earnings of claimants are taken into account for UC payments. 

FAQs: What Is The Universal Credit Mileage Allowance?

What is the mileage allowance?

Mileage allowance is an amount paid by employers to their workers for trips made for business purposes.

Does mileage allowance include fuel?

Yes, mileage allowance extended by employers includes fuel costs as well as wear and tear of a personal vehicle being used for work-related errands.

How is mileage allowance relief calculated?

The mileage allowance relief is based on HMRC’s approved mileage rates. Currently, the mileage allowance relief is 45p for cars and vans for the initial 10,000 miles and 25p per mile for subsequent miles.

What Counts As Income For Universal Credit?

During your benefits calculation by the DWP, not only is your job-related income(s) taken into account, but the authorities will also consider unearned incomes such as benefits. These are incomes that individuals receive without having to work such as benefits and allowances.  

Will Universal Credit Pay For Unreimbursed Expenses?

Universal Credit claimants should keep their work coach informed if they incur any work-related expenses that are unreimbursed by their employer. Such expenses reduce the take-home earnings of claimants and can increase their Universal Credit award.

References:

Universal-credit-and-unreimbursed-expenses

Check-how-much-universal-credit-youll-get

Legislation.gov.uk

Universal Credit and you – GOV.UK.

What does “35 hours job search” mean? – a Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions – WhatDoTheyKnow

Universal Credit: What you need to know as job-hunting rules restart – Citizens Advice

Supporting claimants in the light-touch regime

Conditionality regime / Further Universal Credit Information

Universal credit and you

Understanding Universal Credit – How earnings affect Universal Credit

Universal Credit explained | MoneyHelper

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

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