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Work allowance for Universal Credit

Work allowance for Universal Credit

What the work allowance is and how this affects your Universal Credit

If you and/or your partner are in paid work, you might be able to earn a certain amount before your Universal Credit is affected, this is called the work allowance (see earnings taper for more information about the effect).

The work allowance levels were reduced substantially or abolished in April 2016. Before that date every claimant had a work allowance, since then only those with a disability or a child get a work allowance and the rate is based on whether someone's Universal Credit includes amounts for housing costs or not.

The table below shows the different rates of monthly work allowance.

Higher work allowance (for those who DO NOT get help with housing costs) from April 2018
(per month)
from April 2019
(per month)
Claimant  - is not responsible for a child or qualifying young person [1] £0 £0
- is responsible for one or more children or qualifying young persons [2] £409 £503
- has limited capability for work [3] £409 £503
Lower work allowance (for those who DO get help with housing costs) from April 2018
(per month)
from April 2019
(per month)
Claimant - is not responsible for a child or qualifying young person [1] £0 £0
- is responsible for one or more children or qualifying young persons [2] £198 £287
- has limited capability for work [3] £198 £287

 

[1] Before April 2016 the allowance was £111 a month for this group. After this date it was £0, meaning Universal Credit is reduced as soon as they start earning.

[2] In April 2016, the allowance for single people with children dropped from £734 a month to £397 a month if they had no help with housing costs and from £263 a month to £192 if they did. Help for couples with children dropped from £536 a month to £397 a month if they had no help with housing costs and from £222 a month to £192 if they did.

[3] In April 2016, the allowance for people with limited capability for work dropped from £647 a month to £397 a month if they had no help with housing costs. There was no change for this group if they did get help with housing costs. 

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