Universal Credit - when to apply?

Hi,
I have recently returned to full time work after maternity leave. In the new year I am hoping to go part time, dropping one day a week.

I have done multiple benefit calculators which to my surprise show that I would be able to claim universal credit at around the same amount that I would be losing on my reduced hours.

I have never done this before and honestly have no idea where to start so would appreciate any help.

My main question is when do I apply? I can see there is a 5 week delay but if I apply now I would be providing information based on my full time hours. But if I wait until I am officially on my reduced hours I then have to wait 5 weeks?

I am also worried about how it will affect our tax free childcare as I know I can no longer use this once I claim universal credit, so I don't want to claim any earlier than I need to.

I hope this makes sense, I am quite confused about the whole thing.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Comments

  • The payment for UC is calculated based on your circumstances at the end of your assessment period, and takes into account money you have actually received during it.  So you probably shouldn't apply until after receiving your last wages at the whole full-time rate.

    I say 'probably', have you checked any potential entitlement with your full wages as they are now?

    Also do be aware that UC goes on household circumstances so if you live with a partner, it takes into account any earnings and savings they may have as well. 
    And if you live with a partner who is not working, unless they have a health condition that limits their ability to work, they would be expected to care for your baby and you would be expected to look for full-time work (and would probably be sanctioned for dropping hours, unless you have what they deem to be a good reason for doing so).  If you would be subject to a sanction then depending on how much UC you'd be entitled to, it may not be worth claiming until the 13 weeks of the sanction have run out.
    ^ but if you're on your own, none of that applies and you'll be fine.
  • peteuk
    peteuk Posts: 1,230
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Further to the above if you start a claim and then are paid at full time pay, if your claim is successful any pay received will be deducted from your UC payment at 55p per pound. 

    Can I ask on the back of this if someone is working p/t is their wage still deducted from the UC?
    Proud to have dealt with our debts
    Starting debt 2005 £65.7K.
    Current debt ZERO.
    DEBT FREE
  • Spoonie_Turtle
    Spoonie_Turtle Posts: 8,193
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 29 November 2023 at 4:29PM
    peteuk said:
    Further to the above if you start a claim and then are paid at full time pay, if your claim is successful any pay received will be deducted from your UC payment at 55p per pound. 

    Can I ask on the back of this if someone is working p/t is their wage still deducted from the UC?
    Yes in principle, any earnings are taken into account.

    OP would have the work allowance as they have a child though, so not all of their wages (whether working full-time or part-time). 
    Only if someone with the work allowance earns below it then there would be nothing to deduct.
  • The payment for UC is calculated based on your circumstances at the end of your assessment period, and takes into account money you have actually received during it.  So you probably shouldn't apply until after receiving your last wages at the whole full-time rate.

    I say 'probably', have you checked any potential entitlement with your full wages as they are now?

    Also do be aware that UC goes on household circumstances so if you live with a partner, it takes into account any earnings and savings they may have as well. 
    And if you live with a partner who is not working, unless they have a health condition that limits their ability to work, they would be expected to care for your baby and you would be expected to look for full-time work (and would probably be sanctioned for dropping hours, unless you have what they deem to be a good reason for doing so).  If you would be subject to a sanction then depending on how much UC you'd be entitled to, it may not be worth claiming until the 13 weeks of the sanction have run out.
    ^ but if you're on your own, none of that applies and you'll be fine.
    Hi, that's helpful thank you!
    I have checked with my current wages and I would receive a small amount, however it is less than the saving I make with tax free childcare, so it doesn't seem worth applying right now.

    I do live with my partner, he works full time. I put his details into the calculator so I am assuming the results take all that into account?
  • The payment for UC is calculated based on your circumstances at the end of your assessment period, and takes into account money you have actually received during it.  So you probably shouldn't apply until after receiving your last wages at the whole full-time rate.

    I say 'probably', have you checked any potential entitlement with your full wages as they are now?

    Also do be aware that UC goes on household circumstances so if you live with a partner, it takes into account any earnings and savings they may have as well. 
    And if you live with a partner who is not working, unless they have a health condition that limits their ability to work, they would be expected to care for your baby and you would be expected to look for full-time work (and would probably be sanctioned for dropping hours, unless you have what they deem to be a good reason for doing so).  If you would be subject to a sanction then depending on how much UC you'd be entitled to, it may not be worth claiming until the 13 weeks of the sanction have run out.
    ^ but if you're on your own, none of that applies and you'll be fine.
    Hi, that's helpful thank you!
    I have checked with my current wages and I would receive a small amount, however it is less than the saving I make with tax free childcare, so it doesn't seem worth applying right now.

    I do live with my partner, he works full time. I put his details into the calculator so I am assuming the results take all that into account?
    Yes they do. 

    Okay that's good, you will be the main carer for your baby so won't be required to look for any extra work nor should you be sanctioned.

    In that case, claiming a day or two after your last wages at the full-time rate (or after your normal payday date, if the wages come early in December due to Christmas/New Year bank holidays) would probably be best.  There is as you say about a 5 week wait - a calendar month as your assessment period, then the payment for that AP a week later.  Thereafter it will be a calendar month between payments. 
  • The payment for UC is calculated based on your circumstances at the end of your assessment period, and takes into account money you have actually received during it.  So you probably shouldn't apply until after receiving your last wages at the whole full-time rate.

    I say 'probably', have you checked any potential entitlement with your full wages as they are now?

    Also do be aware that UC goes on household circumstances so if you live with a partner, it takes into account any earnings and savings they may have as well. 
    And if you live with a partner who is not working, unless they have a health condition that limits their ability to work, they would be expected to care for your baby and you would be expected to look for full-time work (and would probably be sanctioned for dropping hours, unless you have what they deem to be a good reason for doing so).  If you would be subject to a sanction then depending on how much UC you'd be entitled to, it may not be worth claiming until the 13 weeks of the sanction have run out.
    ^ but if you're on your own, none of that applies and you'll be fine.
    Hi, that's helpful thank you!
    I have checked with my current wages and I would receive a small amount, however it is less than the saving I make with tax free childcare, so it doesn't seem worth applying right now.

    I do live with my partner, he works full time. I put his details into the calculator so I am assuming the results take all that into account?
    Yes they do. 

    Okay that's good, you will be the main carer for your baby so won't be required to look for any extra work nor should you be sanctioned.

    In that case, claiming a day or two after your last wages at the full-time rate (or after your normal payday date, if the wages come early in December due to Christmas/New Year bank holidays) would probably be best.  There is as you say about a 5 week wait - a calendar month as your assessment period, then the payment for that AP a week later.  Thereafter it will be a calendar month between payments. 
    Brilliant! Thank you so much for your help!
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.9K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 234K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards