What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a single payment that combines six existing benefits if you’re out of work or on a low income.
If you’re already receiving Universal Credit, you may be able to get an extra amount because of your caring role. This is known as the ‘carer element’.
How much is the carer element?
It’s worth £160.20 a month (about £37 a week) for the 2019-20 financial year.
How do I claim Universal Credit?
Visit gov.uk or call the Universal Credit helpline on 0845 600 0723.
What do I need to know about Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit, so if you’re already in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, that will count as part of your income when your means-tested benefits are calculated.
Other such benefits are the carer addition paid with Pension Credit and carer premium, which is a part of Income Support, and other allowances, such as Housing Benefit.
As a result, your means-tested benefit will decrease if you are being paid Carer’s Allowance, although you’ll probably be better off in total. To find out more, read the section ‘What effect would claiming have on other benefits I receive?’ in our Carer’s Allowance article.
To work out how much Universal Credit you could be eligible for and to find out how the payments work, read How Universal Credit is calculated on Which? Money.
Carer’s Credit can help fill gaps in your National Insurance record if you can’t work due to being a carer.
If you care for someone for more than 35 hours a week, find out if you could apply for Carer’s Allowance.
Find out how to apply and prepare for a carer’s assessment and discover what to expect throughout the process.