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 regulations (5 August 2022): Universal Credit (Administrative Earnings Threshold) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI.No.886/2022) - New regulations that provide for an increase in the Administrative Earnings Threshold to £494 a month for an individual, and to £782 for a couple >> More universal credit legislation

New Upper Tribunal decision (1 August 2022): UA-2021-000580-JR & UA 2022-000464-JR - Upper Tribunal holds that the DWP is entitled to withhold payment of universal credit until a national insurance number has been allocated >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (11 July 2022): Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 (SR.No.194/2022) - New regulations make amendments to universal credit natural migration and managed migration provisions, including to enable the Department for Communities to begin issuing managed migration notices in Northern Ireland >> More universal credit legislation 

New regulations (5 July 2022): Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Regulations 2022 (SI.No.752/2022) - New regulations make amendments to universal credit natural migration and managed migration provisions, including the removal of the 10,000 limit on the number of awards of universal credit that can be made to claimants who have been issued with a managed migration notice >> More universal credit legislation 

New Northern Ireland Commissioner's decision (13 June 2022): C1/22-23(UC) - Northern Ireland Social Security Commissioner rules that the DWP did not have jurisdiction to make decision on claim for universal credit made by a claimant who lived in Northern Ireland  >> More universal credit case law

New High Court of Northern Ireland decision (17 May 2022): RK, Re Application for Judicial Review [2022] NIQB 29 (25 April 2022) - High Court of Northern Ireland rules that treatment of maternity allowance as unearned income for the purposes of universal credit is not unlawful >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (5 May 2022): UA-2021-001182-UC - Guidance to representatives, tribunals and the DWP on the approach to obtaining information from an abusive partner to support a claim from the person fleeing abuse when a non-molestation injunction is in place >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (13 April 2022): Universal Credit (Local Welfare Provision Disregard) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI.No.448/2022) - New regulations provide for the disregard of local welfare provision in the calculation of capital for universal credit purposes >> More universal credit legislation 

New regulations (5 April 2022): Social Security Benefits (Claims and Payments) (Modification) Regulations 2022 (SI.No.428/2022) - Temporary modification of fuel deductions from universal credit so that new payments for ongoing consumption or increase in existing payments may only be made if requested by claimant >> More universal credit legislation 

New regulations (5 April 2022): Social Security (Terminal Illness) (2022 Act) (Commencement) Order (Northern Ireland) 2022 (SR.No.171/2022) - Amend the definition of terminal illness within universal credit to extend the period within which death may reasonably be expected from six months to 12 months >> More universal credit legislation 

New Upper Tribunal decision (5 April 2022): UA-2020-000306-USTA - Whether definition of ‘full-time course of education’ in universal credit refers to actual number of hours of study rather than classification by the particular educational institution >> More universal credit case law

New Upper Tribunal decision (31 March 2022) CUC/1792/2020 - Evidence needed to decide whether a person has failed to accept a claimant commitment >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (25 March 2022): Social Security (Habitual Residence and Past Presence) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 (SR.No.149/2022) - New regulations ensure that those who left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion are exempt from the habitual residence for universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (23 March 2022): Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (Commencement No. 16 and Commencement No. 8, 13 and 14 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions (Amendment)) Order (Northern Ireland) 2022 (SR.No.132/2022) - Brings into force provisions of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 in so far as they are not already in force, and removes restrictions that have prevented frontier workers from making universal credit claims >> More universal credit legislation

New Upper Tribunal decision (23 March 2022): CUC/1019/2020 - Tribunal was correct to decide that an Irish widow’s pension should be counted as the claimant’s unearned income to be deducted from any calculation of universal credit >> More universal credit case law

New regulations (21 March 2022): Social Security (Habitual Residence and Past Presence) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI.No.344/2022) - New regulations ensure that those who left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion are exempt from the habitual residence for universal credit >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (17 March 2022): Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 34 and Commencement No. 9, 21, 23, 31 and 32 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions (Amendment)) Order 2022 (SI.No.302/2022) - Brings into force provisions of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 as listed in schedule 2 of the No. 9 Commencement Order (SI.No.983/2013) in so far as they are not already in force, and removes restrictions that have prevented frontier workers from making universal credit claims >> More universal credit legislation

New regulations (10 March 2022): Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (Terminal Illness) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI.No.260/2022) - Amend the definition of terminal illness to extend the period within which death may reasonably be expected from six months to 12 months >> More universal credit legislation 

New regulations (18 February 2022): Universal Credit (Work-Related Requirements) In Work Pilot Scheme (Extension) Order 2022 (SI.No.139/2022) - 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 (24 January 2022): Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (Claimant Commitment Exceptions) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI.No.60/2022) - Include provision for a further exception from the basic condition of entitlement to universal credit of having accepted a claimant commitment for people who are terminally ill >> More universal credit legislation

New Commissioner's decision (5 January 2022): C3/21-22(UC) - Northern Ireland Social Security Commissioner rules that a tribunal was correct to treat pay in lieu of notice as employed earnings for universal credit purposes rather than as a termination of employment payment that could be excluded from the calculation >> More universal credit case law