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How Universal Credit can boost your income

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You probably already know that Universal Credit provides financial support if you’re out of work. But you may not know about all the ways in which it could help you to take your first steps in a new role or industry.

Ongoing support

Your Universal Credit payments won’t stop just because you’ve started work. If you’re on a low income, Universal Credit could continue to top up your wages.

For every £1 you earn from work, you can keep 37p from your Universal Credit, up to a limit that depends on your circumstances. This means you could get all your take home pay, with a Universal Credit top up as well.

And if you’re responsible for children, or you have a health condition or disability that affects your ability to work, you might be able to earn a certain amount before your Universal Credit starts to reduce.

This helps make sure that taking work is financially worthwhile, and could make it easier for you to take the part-time or lower paid jobs that could help you get started in a new industry.

Take short-term work

Unlike other benefits, your Universal Credit won’t close down entirely just because you’ve started a job. Even if you’re earning enough from work to not get a Universal Credit payment, if that job ends within 6 months you won’t need to make a brand new Universal Credit application.

This means you can take a temporary job, or work variable or extra hours, without worrying what it will mean for your benefit claim. You can easily restart your Universal Credit without having to re-enter all your details.

Help with childcare

If you’re juggling home life and work, Universal Credit can help by paying up to 85% of your childcare costs. It doesn’t matter how many hours you work – if you pay a registered childcare provider, you might be able to claim back up to £646.35 per month if you have one child, or £1,108.04 per month if you have 2 or more.

Support with finding work

Your Universal Credit work coach is there to help you find and stay in work. They can advise you about the latest recruitment methods, and can tell you about the industries that have the most vacancies. They’ll also help with your CV or job applications, and can identify how your skills could be valuable to employers and in jobs you may not have considered before. For more information about anything to do with Universal Credit, visit the Understanding Universal Credit website.