Universal Credit

Universal credit (UC) is now available  across the UK. As a result, HMRC state that most people can no longer make brand new claims for tax credits and other benefits that UC replaces, however there are some exceptions to this.

Existing tax credit claimants are currently unaffected by the roll-out of UC unless they choose to make a UC claim, have a change of circumstances that ends their tax credit claim but they need to continue claiming similar support, or they need to make a new claim for another benefit that UC has replaced (such as housing benefit).

This section of the website explains who can claim UC including how it affects existing tax credit claimants, gives an overview of the entitlement rules of UC and links to helpful UC guidance and leaflets.

Latest updates

New Upper Tribunal decision (18 June 2021): CSUC/280/2020 - Tribunal correct to take two lots of four-weekly paid wages into account in one universal credit assessment period / Johnson and Pantellerisco did not apply >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (10 May 2021): Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Care Leavers and Homeless) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (SI.No.118/2021) - Include provisions that amend the age limits applying to exemptions from the shared accommodation rate of local housing allowance in universal credit in Northern Ireland >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (6 May 2021): Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Care Leavers and Homeless) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI.No.546/2021) - New regulations include provisions that amend the age limits applying to exemptions from the shared accommodation rate of local housing allowance in universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New Upper Tribunal decision (7 April 2021): CUC/761/2019 - Treatment of late paid earnings in calculation of universal credit when real time information reported on time / return of deposit paid by employee on uniform is not earnings >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (19 March 2021): Universal Credit (Extension of Coronavirus Measures) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (SR.No.67/2021) - New regulations have been issued in relation to the extension of the universal credit uplift and the suspension of the universal credit minimum income floor in Northern Ireland >> More universal credit legislation

New High Court judgment (17 March 2021): Blundell & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2021] EWHC 608 (Admin) - High Court rules that DWP’s universal credit deductions policy’s use of a rigid formula in respect of court fines rather than the exercise of discretion as the legislation requires is unlawful >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (16 March 2021): CUC/467/2021 - Consideration of ‘substantial risk’ arising from claimant being found fit for work includes travel to and from jobcentre and job interviews, as well as to and from work >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (16 March 2021): Universal Credit (Extension of Coronavirus Measures) Regulations 2021 (SI.No.313/2021) - Provide for the £20 a week universal credit 'uplift' to continue to be paid for a further 6 months, and for the extension of measures relating to the minimum income floor >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (4 March 2021): Universal Credit (Childcare in Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI.No.228/2021) - Allow for the continued reimbursement of universal credit childcare costs to claimants who employ nannies in Wales >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (15 February 2021): Universal Credit (Work-Related Requirements) In Work Pilot Scheme (Extension) Order 2021 (SI.No.147/2021) - Extends the period for which the pilot scheme established under the Universal Credit (Work-Related Requirements) In Work Pilot Scheme and Amendment Regulations 2015 has effect >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (28 January 2021): Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Housing Costs (Executive Determinations) (Modification) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (SR.No.14/2021) - New regulations that freeze local housing allowance rates in Northern Ireland in 2021/2022 >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (8 January 2021): Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (Claimants previously entitled to a severe disability premium) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (SR.No.2/2021) - New regulations set out criteria for payments of severe disability premium (SDP) transitional protection going forwards, when people in receipt of SDP will no longer be prevented from claiming universal credit in Northern Ireland from 27 January 2021 >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (6 January 2021): Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (Claimants previously entitled to a severe disability premium) Amendment Regulations 2021 (SI.No.4/2021) - New regulations set out criteria for payments of severe disability premium (SDP) transitional protection going forwards, when people in receipt of SDP will no longer be prevented from claiming universal credit from 27 January 2021 >> More universal credit legislation

New Upper Tribunal decision (18 December 2020) CUC/563/2020 - Sanction decision overturned on account of ambiguity in the notification of the requirement to take part in a telephone interview and the claimant having good reason for failure to attend >> More universal credit case law

New Court of Appeal judgment (18 December 2020): Fratila v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2020] EWCA 174 - Court of Appeal rules that government acted unlawfully in barring EU citizens from relying on ‘pre-settled status’ to access universal credit >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (10 December 2020): Social Security, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.1505/2020) - New regulations include changes to social security regulations to remove the rights of certain third-country nationals of States signed up to specified social and medical treaties to claim universal credit after the UK exits the EU >> More universal credit legislation

New Upper Tribunal decision( 7 December 2020): CUC/148/2020 -Consideration of what amounts to 'late notification of expiry of entitlement' for universal credit backdating purposes, where claimant advised he could no longer claim housing benefit after moving to new local authority area >>More universal credit case law

New regulations (26 October 2020): Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.226/2020)  - New regulations in Northern Ireland provide for a calendar monthly payment of earnings reported via the Real-Time Information service to be reallocated to a different universal credit assessment period where it is necessary to maintain a regular payment cycle >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (20 October 2020): Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020 (SI.No.1138/2020)  - New regulations provide for a calendar monthly payment of earnings reported via the Real-Time Information service to be reallocated to a different universal credit assessment period where it is necessary to maintain a regular payment cycle >> More universal credit legislation

New High Court judgment (23 September 2020): Caine, R (On the Application Of) v Department For Work And Pensions [2020] EWHC 2482 (Admin) - High Court rules that the formulae for converting weekly rents to a monthly value for the purposes of calculating universal credit entitlement are neither irrational nor unlawful >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (25 August 2020): CUC/2777/2019 - ESA case law relating to requirement for DWP to provide tribunals with evidence of work-related activity available in area where claimant lives applies equally to universal credit >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (4 August 2020):  Universal Credit (Exceptions to the Requirement not to be receiving Education) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.827/2020) and Universal Credit (Exceptions to the Requirement not to be receiving Education) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.166/2020) - New regulations clarify that exception to the universal credit basic condition 'not to be receiving education' on the grounds of receipt of a disability benefit requires claimants to have a limited capability for work determination on or before the date of claim to universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (3 August 2020): Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.826/2020) and Universal Credit (Managed Migration and Miscellaneous Amendments) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No165/2020) - New regulations correct a technical defect within the regulations providing for a two-week run-on of income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance and income-related employment and support allowance at the start of a universal credit claim >> More universal credit legislation >> More universal credit legislation

New High Court judgment (20 July 2020): Pantellerisco and Ors (R on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2020] EWHC 1944 (Admin) (20 July 2020) - High Court rules that universal credit benefit cap earnings assessment is irrational and unlawful in case of a four-weekly paid claimant >> More universal credit case law