What is Universal Credit, and who is eligible?

Universal credit sanctions are being tightened under UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, and this could prove devastating for thousands of part-time workers if they fail to address certain steps.

The new rulings will automatically force ineligible people to make extra effort to secure more work.

What is Universal credit?

Universal credit is a social security payment for low-income, working people. Over 5.8 million people in England, Wales, and Scotland claim Universal Credit. The system was introduced to substitute various benefits for low-paid and unemployed people. In short, the aim behind the system was to make it simple.

Out of these 5.8 million, about 40 percent have jobs.

Credit payment depends on various factors such as unmarried/single, married, and age.

  • A single claimant below the age of 25 gets £265.31/month
  • A single claimant 25 or above gets £334.91/month
  • Joint claimants under the age of 25 get £416.45/month
  • Joint claimants 25 and above get £525.72/month
  • Some people may be eligible for extra money if they have children.

What is the eligibility to get Universal Credit?

According to the UK government website, the eligible person can be anyone with a low income or needing help with living costs. He or she:

  • Is out of work
  • Working part-time
  • Not working due to health condition
  • For claiming the UC, a person should be:
  • Residing in the UK
  • Must be 18 or above (some exceptions for people aged 16-17)
  • Under the State Pension age
  • Having money less than £16,000 in savings or investments
  • The new rule states that claimants working up to 15 hours a week at minimum wage will have to find some other work that is better paid. One can use a benefits calculator to determine the total number of benefits.


  1. How much extra money claimants received during the pandemic?
    During the Covid-19 pandemic, the claimants got £20 extra a week.
  2. How much time it takes to receive the first payment?
    From the date of the claim to the payment, the whole process can take up to five weeks. However, it is also possible to get an advance loan.

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