Self-employment and Universal Credit
If you are not eligible for SSP – for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week – and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit (UC) or new style Employment and Support Allowance.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.
Am I eligible?
You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you’re on a low income or out of work
- you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- you’re under State Pension Age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
- you live in the UK
If you live with your partner:
Your partner’s income and savings will be taken into account, even if they are not eligible for Universal Credit.
If you’re 18 or over and in training or studying full-time
You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:
- you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
- you’re responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple
- you’re disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work
- you’re in further education, are 21 or under and do not have parental support, for example you’re estranged from your parents and you’re not under local authority care
How do I claim?
You need to set up an online account to claim Universal Credit if you don't already have one.
You must submit your claim within 28 days of creating your account.
If you live with your partner, they will also need to set up an account. You'll be given a code to link the accounts together.
You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book a phone appointment with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.
What do I need to apply?
- your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
- an email address
- information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
- details of your income, for example payslips
- details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
- details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
- If you do not provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid or how much you get.
You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:
- driving licence
- debit or credit card
You'll need to have an interview with Jobcentre Plus. You'll be told how to arrange this after you submit your claim. It will be within 10 working days and it will be a telephone interview.