How much Universal Credit you get and how you're paid
The amount of Universal Credit you get depends on your circumstances, including your income and how many children you have. In Northern Ireland it is paid twice a month into your bank, building society or Credit Union account.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales go to Gov.uk
How and when you get paid Universal Credit
You will get your first Universal Credit payment about five weeks after you claim and you will receive payments twice a month.
Help is available if you do not have enough money to live on until you get your Universal Credit payment.
Universal Credit is paid into your bank, building society or Credit Union account.
In Northern Ireland Universal Credit is normally paid to a household twice a month. A household can be a single person, a couple or a family.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales go to Gov.uk
After you have made your claim you can ask for your Universal Credit to be paid monthly – so you get a payment once a month rather than twice a month. If you want to do this, contact your work coach through your Universal Credit online account.
Splitting payments with your partner
If you are in a couple making a joint claim, you can ask for your Universal Credit payments to be split between you and your partner. If you want to do this, contact your work coach through your Universal Credit online account.
How housing costs are paid
If you get money to help pay your housing costs, this will be paid direct to your landlord each month.
Universal Credit Assessment Period
Universal Credit is worked out on a monthly basis. This is known as the Assessment Period. The first assessment period starts when you make your Universal Credit claim, so you should claim as soon as possible.
Each assessment period will start on the same date each month and end on the same date each month. Your Universal Credit payments will be made twice a month, on the same dates each month. For example, if you claim Universal Credit on 4 July:
- your first assessment period will be from 4 July to 3 August
- your first payment will be 5 weeks after you claim, which is 10 August
- your second payment will be on 24 August
- you will get future Universal Credit payments on the 10th and 24th of each month
If your Universal Credit payment date falls on a weekend or bank holiday, the payment will be made on the previous banking day.
How much you will get
Depending on your circumstances, you will get a monthly standard allowance plus extra amounts if, for example, you:
- have children
- have a disability or health condition which prevents you from working
- need help paying your rent
A benefit calculator can help you check how much Universal Credit you may get.
When using a benefits calculator it is important that you enter your information correctly to get an estimate of what benefits you may be entitled to. You should seek independent advice before you make the decision to change your benefits.
Your monthly standard allowance will depend on your circumstances.
|Monthly standard allowance
|Single and under 25
|Single and 25 or over
|In a couple and you’re both under 25
|£458.51 (for you both)
In a couple and either of you are 25 or over
£578.82 (for you both)
If you have children
As well as the monthly standard allowance, you may receive an amount, called the child element, for children who live with you. The child element you get will depend on how many children you have and when they were born.
You can get further information on how much child element you may get
If you have a child with disabilities or severe disabilities
As well as the standard allowance and the child element, if you have a disabled child or children, you may get an extra monthly payment.
You can get further information on the amount you may get for a disabled child
If you pay for childcare
As well as the monthly standard allowance, you may get more money (the childcare element) if you have to pay for childcare.
Universal Credit can pay up to 85 per cent of your childcare costs.
Childcare costs will be included in your Universal Credit payments after you have paid the childcare provider and reported the amount you have paid
If paying upfront for registered childcare is preventing you from starting work, help may be available.
You can get further information on how much you can get for childcare costs
If you have a disability or health condition
As well as the monthly standard allowance, you may get more money if you have a health condition or disability which stops you from working or limits the work you can do.
Extra monthly amount
A disability or health condition that limits the work
Claims made on or after that date are not eligible for this additional amount
A disability or health condition that stops you from working
You may have to go to a Work Capability Assessment. A Work Capability Assessment will check to see if you:
- are fit for work
- have limited capability for work (which means that although you may not be able to look for work now, you can prepare for working in the future)
- have limited capability for work and work-related activity (which means you will not be asked to look for work or prepare for work)
You can get more information if you have a health condition or disability
If you care for a severely disabled person
As well as the monthly standard allowance, if you spend at least 35 hours a week looking after a severely disabled person who receives a disability-related benefit, you may get an extra £185.86 each month.
If you rent your home
As well as your monthly standard allowance, you may get extra money (called the housing element) to help pay your housing costs if you:
- pay rent to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE)
- pay rent (and some service charges) to a housing association
- pay rent to a private landlord
You can get more information on how you can claim the housing element and how it is paid.
If you own your home
If you’re a homeowner, as well as the monthly standard allowance, you might be able to get Support for Mortgage Interest. This is a loan to help towards interest payments on your mortgage or other loans you’ve taken out for your home.
Cost of Living Support Payment 2023/2024
A Cost of Living Support package has been put in place that includes one-off payments to those on income related benefits, disabled claimants and pensioners. These payments are intended to provide support with the current rise in the cost of living.
Find out more about Cost of Living support
Other financial support you might get
If you do not have enough money to live on until you get your first Universal Credit payment, you may also be able to claim:
- a Universal Credit Contingency Fund short term living expenses grant payment through the Finance support service
- Discretionary Support