Universal Credit

Universal credit (UC) full service has now rolled out across the UK. 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, 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 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

New regulations (7 July 2020): Universal Credit (Great Britain Reciprocal Arrangements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.129/2020) - New regulations that give effect in Northern Ireland to reciprocal arrangements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in relation to universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (6 July 2020): Social Security (Income-Related Benefits) (Persons of Northern Ireland - Family Members) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.683/2020) - Provide for amendments that enable family members of relevant people of Northern Ireland to access income-related benefits on broadly the same terms as family members of citizens of the Republic of Ireland >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (3 July 2020): Universal Credit (Northern Ireland Reciprocal Arrangements) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.677/2020) - New regulations that give effect in Great Britain to reciprocal arrangements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in relation to universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (30 June 2020): Universal Credit (Persons who have attained state pension credit qualifying age) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.655/2020) and Universal Credit (Persons who have attained state pension credit qualifying age) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.119/2020) - New regulations include amendments to introduce a run-on of universal credit in the assessment period that a claimant reaches state pension age >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (24 June 2020): Social Security (Income and Capital) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.618/2020) and Social Security (Income and Capital) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.108/2020) - New regulations include amendments to ensure that extra-statutory payments, including compensation for people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, are disregarded from universal credit and other means-tested benefits >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations in Northern Ireland (23 June 2020): Universal Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.107/2020) - Make amendments in relation to the calculation of the earnings threshold for the purpose of the benefit cap grace period, the use of the Landlord Portal to request and report changes in housing costs and in relation to childcare provisions >> More universal credit legislation

New Court of Appeal decision (22 June 2020): Secretary of State for Work And Pensions v Johnson & Ors [2020] EWCA Civ 778 - Court of Appeal rules that Work and Pensions Secretary acted irrationally and unlawfully by failing to adapt earned income assessment rules to account for impact on certain universal credit claimants >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (22 June 2020): Universal Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.611/2020) - Make amendments in relation to the calculation of the earnings threshold for the purpose of the benefit cap grace period in universal credit and in relation to the use of the Landlord Portal to request and report changes in housing costs >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (20 May 2020): Universal Credit (Coronavirus) (Self-employed Claimants and Reclaims) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.522/2020) and Universal Credit (Coronavirus) (Self-employed Claimants and Reclaims) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.85/2020) - New regulations in relation universal credit reclaim rules and the treatment of Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) payments for self-employed claimants >> More universal credit legislation

New Court of Appeal decision (12 May 2020): TD & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2020] EWCA Civ 618 - Court of Appeal rules that failure to provide transitional protection for claimants who transferred to universal credit following incorrect legacy benefit decision was unlawful >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (23 April 2020): CUC/1617/2019 - Whether income support including a disability premium is ‘paid on grounds of incapacity for work or disability’ / whether income support is extinguished or suspended where claimant is imprisoned >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (17 April 2020): CUC/1389/2019 - Considers a UC claim made online that was ‘closed' for non-attendance for interview to discuss self-employment and the claimant’s subsequent appeal without having obtained a mandatory reconsideration (that the First-tier Tribunal refused to admit) >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (16 April 2020): CUC/968/2019 - Whether a defective claim for UC is made at point where claimant starts but does not complete process of entering information on online claim form, for the purposes of establishing a date of claim >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (7 April 2020): Social Security (Coronavirus) (Prisoners) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.409/2020) and the Social Security (Coronavirus) (Prisoners) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.63/2020) - New regulations in relation to social security provisions for prisoners on temporary release due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (3 April 2020): Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) Amendment Regulations 2020 (SI.No.397/2020) and Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) Amendment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.61/2020) - New regulations in relation to the start dates for increases to the standard allowance in universal credit and to local housing allowance rates in 2020/2021 introduced in responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (28 March 2020): Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.371/2020) and Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.53/2020) - New regulations that provide for miscellaneous changes to social security in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak including in relation to the minimum income floor, and the rate of the standard allowance in universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

Uprating of universal credit (24 March 2020): Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.40/2020) - New regulations in Northern Ireland that provide for the up-rating of certain benefits, including universal credit, from April 2020 >> More universal credit legislation

Uprating of universal credit (18 March 2020): Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2020 (SI.No.234/2020) - New regulations that provide for the up-rating of certain benefits, including universal credit, from April 2020 >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (16 March 2020): Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit (Coronavirus Disease) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.289/2020) - New regulations that introduce temporary reforms to support claimants during the coronavirus outbreak >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations in Northern Ireland (13 March 2020): Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit (Coronavirus) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.33/2020) - New regulations that introduce temporary reforms to support claimants during the coronavirus outbreak >> More universal credit legislation in Northern Ireland

New Court of Appeal decision (30 January 2020): AR & SXC, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2020] EWCA Civ 37 (29 January 2020) - Court of Appeal upholds High Court judgments that failure to protect income of severely disabled claimants migrating to universal credit is unlawful >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (23 January 2020): CUC/2274/2018 - Claimant's view that it would be pointless to apply for a vacancy does not amount to a good reason for failing to apply for a vacancy as directed by the Secretary of State >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (16 January 2020): Housing Benefits and Universal Credit Housing Costs (Executive Determinations) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR.No.14/2020) - New regulations that make changes to the manner in which the local housing allowance is determined in Northern Ireland >> More universal credit legislation