Universal Credit: What is the standard allowance and how does it affect what benefit money I get?

It might be some time before a Universal Credit claimant gets their money after first submitting their request for cash.

The process can take five weeks for your initial payment to be released – and in that time officials will examine your case and decide how much to award you in what’s called an ‘assessment period’.

You will, if successful, receive a ‘standard allowance’ plus extras depending on your health, disability and whether or not you look after children.

Read more: Universal Credit: Can I have a benefit decision looked at again?

But what is the ‘standard allowance’ when it comes to Universal Credit and how much extra could I get if I have a medical condition, disability or look after children? Here’s what we understand.

Universal Credit: What is the standard allowance and how does it affect what benefit money I get?

According to the Government website, the amount of Universal Credit you receive depends on different factors.

If you are not in a relationship and are aged under 25, you’ll get at least a ‘standard allowance’ of £257.33 per month. If you’re single and aged 25 or over, you’ll get more – £324.84 per month.

There is a different ‘standard allowance’ if you’re with someone. For those in a relationship and aged under 25, you’ll get £403.93 for you both. If you’re in a relationship but aged at least 25, you’ll get £509.91 for both of you.

There is extra money you could get if you fulfill certain conditions. If you look after or are responsible for children, you’ll get money for at least two of them. The first child will see you get £282.50. If you have another child, you’ll get £237.08. Both are per month.

You won’t normally get extra money for a third child or any more children unless you fulfill certain criteria to be able to access that cash.

If you have a medical condition which means you are limited in your abilities to perform and carry out work and activities related to a job, you will be able to get a top-up on your Universal Credit claim of £343.63 per month.

A similar top-up, worth £163.73 per month, is available if you provide care for a severely disabled individual who claims disability benefits.

If you’re struggling with your rent costs, there is extra help for Universal Credit claimants available. If you can’t keep up with your mortgage, you may be able to get a loan to help .

There are a variety of other packages to help people who may be in need, too. This includes the Household Support Fund and the Cold Weather Payment, which is released when the temperatures reach freezing in your local area for seven consecutive days.

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