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Helping you to earn more from work

Woman working at a desk using a calculator. Links to Helping you to earn more from work

If you are claiming Universal Credit and move into a job, there are a few things you need to know about that can help boost your finances:    

  • Depending on your circumstances, you might keep receiving all your Universal Credit payments, if you’re earning under a certain amount  
  • Even if your Universal Credit payments are affected, they will only reduce gradually as you earn more  
  • You can apply for help with childcare costs 
  • You can look at opportunities to work extra hours and earn more money, or even take on a second job, and could still get Universal Credit payments
  • Your Universal Credit payments will adjust automatically if your earnings change – it doesn’t matter how many hours you work, it’s the actual earnings you receive that count. 

Support and advice from Jobcentre Plus  

The Jobcentre Plus in-work progression offer can provide you with support to help you increase your earnings and move into a better paid quality job.

The amount of Universal Credit you get will gradually reduce as you earn more. But unlike Jobseeker’s Allowance, your payment will not stop if you work more than 16 hours a week.

You’ll still have access to your Work Coach while you’re in work:

  • They’ll never make a mandatory appointment with you that clashes with your working hours.
  • They’re a great source for tips on how to improve your skills or get further qualifications to boost your income where you are. 
  • The in-work support will be tailored and at a pace that suits your individual circumstances.
  • Read more on about Universal Credit (external website). 

How Earnings affect Universal Credit    

  • If you are earning money from work, your Universal Credit payment will be reduced by 55p for every £1 you earn
  • Your total income from earnings and Universal Credit will be more than from Universal Credit alone
  • If you are part of a couple and receive a joint Universal Credit payment, both your earnings will be used to calculate how much Universal Credit you receive
  • Find out more about how earnings affect your monthly Universal Credit payments (external website). 

Work Allowance  

If you and/or your partner are in paid work, you may be able to earn a certain amount before your Universal Credit payment starts to be affected. This is called a Work Allowance (external website).  

The Work Allowance only applies to you if:

  • you have responsibility for one or more children (or qualifying young persons), or
  • you or your partner have limited capability for work (a health condition or disability)

If neither of these circumstances apply to you, your Universal Credit payments could be affected and reduced gradually as soon as you start earning money from paid work.  

Childcare costs  

  • If you are working or have a job offer, you may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit and meet some additional conditions. Find out about support available with childcare if you’re on Universal Credit (external website).
  • Working parents on Universal Credit are now able to receive further financial help with their childcare costs. This could be up to £1,014 for 1 child, or up to £1,739 for 2 or more children. Eligible parents claiming Universal Credit are also able to get help with their childcare upfront, so that they can more easily pay their next set of costs.
  • Parents who are moving into work or increasing their working hours should speak to their Universal Credit work coach who can provide more information.