Universal Credit amount changes with earnings – how to check if payments will be stopped

Universal Credit is paid monthly, although payments may be more frequent in Scotland and the rules may differ in Northern Ireland. The payment is intended to help with living costs, and it may be that a person gets Universal Credit if they’re on a low income, or they’re out of work.


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Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance, however some may get additional amounts if circumstances apply to them.

For example, this can include if they have children, have a disability or health condition preventing them from working, or they need help in paying their rent.

A person’s circumstances are assessed every month, and changes in circumstances can affect how much a person is paid for the whole assessment period – rather than just from the date they report them.

So, how do earning affect payments?

If a person is employed, how much Universal Credit they recieve comes down to their earnings.

This is because the Universal Credit payment will gradually reduce as the claimant earns more.

For every £1 that a person earns, the payment reduces by 63 pence.

On Universal Credit, there is no limit as to how many hours a person can work, as the payment will gradually decrease according to earnings instead.

It’s possible to access an independent benefits calculator on a number of different websites which can help a person to see how increasing their hours or starting a new job could affect the Universal Credit payment.

Universal Credit work allowance

Some people may be able to earn a certain amount before their Universal Credit payment is reduced.

This is if a claimant or thier partner are either responsible for a child or young person, or living with a disability or health condition that affects their ability to work.

This is what’s known as the work allowance.

However, if a claimant gets help with housing costs, they should be aware that their work allowance will be lower.

Those with circumstances where they do get help with housing costs could get the monthly work allowance of £287.


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Meanwhile, for those who don’t get help with housing costs, the monthly work allowance is £503.

Should earnings increase to a certain amount, it may be that the Universal Credit payment stops, as Gov.uk explains.

Should an individual’s income increase, then the payment will reduce until they’re earning enough to no longer claim Universal Credit.

The government website says that the payment will then be stopped, and it adds that the person will be told when this happens.

Should earnings then go on to decrease, the claimant can once again claim Universal Credit.

Gov.uk explains that if they received the last payment within six months ago, the individual can restart their old Universal Credit claim by signing in to their Universal Credit account.

However, if the last Universal Credit payment was more than six months ago, the person would need to make a new claim for the payment – something which can be done by signing into their Universal Credit account.

It’s also important to be aware of surplus earnings, and this is where a person’s monthly earnings exceeded £2,500 over the amount where their payment stopped.

In this situation, surplus earnings are then carried forward to the following month, and they will then count towards the claimant’s earnings.

“If your earnings (including your surplus earnings) are then still over the amount where your payment stops, you will not get a Universal Credit payment,” Gov.uk explains.

“If your earnings fall below the amount where your payment stopped, your surplus will decrease. Once your surplus has gone, you’ll be able to get a Universal Credit payment again.”

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