Universal Credit is the most claimed benefit throughout the UK, and numbers have risen significantly since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. Universal Credit is designed to help those in and out of work with living costs. The scheme has been a lifeline for those who, throughout the coronavirus crisis, have been unable to find work or have been laid off and not put on furlough.
Can pensioners get Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people, so usually, pensioners do not qualify for it.
There is only one way a pensioner can get Universal Credit and that is if their partner is under the State Pension age and is eligible for the benefit.
You can claim Universal Credit as a couple, meaning you can get money for both of you and not just the younger individual.
When you both reach State Pension age your Universal Credit claim will stop.
You can replace this with Pension Credit if you are eligible.
Universal Credit was brought in to replace existing benefits and to slim down the system.
Universal Credit replaces the following:
Child Tax Credit.
Working Tax Credit.
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
The Department for Work and Pensions call these legacy benefits, although some people are still on these.
The benefit is paid monthly in arrears and you can apply online.
The number of Universal Credit claims made by people who are aged over 50 has more than doubled in May compared to March this year.
The claims among this age group has risen from 304,000 to nearly 660,000 in just two months, according to new analysis of provisional data from the Office of National Statistics by Rest Less.
The number of Universal Credit claims in May represent approximately six percent of over 50s who are considered economically active (either in work or actively looking for work).
Previous research from Rest Less, prior to the pandemic, highlighted that people over the age of 50 were already more likely to be in long term unemployment, compared to their younger counterparts.