How Universal Credit works

Taking a job will always be worth your while – even if it’s just for a few hours a week or a temporary job – and there are no limits to the hours you can work.

When you start work or increase your hours, Universal Credit will top up your earnings each month. It will gradually reduce as your earnings increase. And if your job ends, it’s easy to start your Universal Credit payments again.

If you’re a parent, you can also claim up to 85% of childcare costs. Find out more about childcare support for parents.

When you can claim Universal Credit

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages, so you may not be able to claim it just yet. When you make a new claim for benefit, such as if you become unemployed, we’ll tell you whether you can claim Universal Credit.

You don’t need to do anything if you’re already claiming benefits or tax credits. We’ll let you know at the right time if you need to claim Universal Credit instead.