Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a government benefit that can help you cover living costs. You may be able to get it if you're on a low income, out of work, or unable to work. 

These resources can help you understand Universal Credit, determine if you are eligible to claim, see what evidence you need, and where to get help to overcome common problems with your claim.

About this project

Too many people today are excluded from receiving Universal Credit payments by complicated eligibility criteria and bureaucracy. The 2.5 million EU citizens and their family members with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are at a particular disadvantage after the European Court of Justice, and the UK Supreme Court, ruled that pre-settled status is not enough to make them eligible for income-based benefits. Following that judgement, every claimant with pre-settled status needs to jump through hoops: prove a history of "genuine and effective" work, or a right derived from a family member to qualify. 

Approach. We brought together benefits experts and IT specialists to build a set of tools that would make these obstacles easier to navigate. The tools are designed to be simple, accessible, and confidential. They are built by turning the complex laws and guidance which constitute the Universal Credit eligibility framework into a set of questions that can be answered by everyone. 

A word of caution. These tools are not a substitute for good advice from a benefits expert. We took great care to build, test, and fine-tune them to ensure that results are accurate, but errors may still occur. Please always seek advice from a benefits specialist.

Feedback. If you spot any errors with these tools, or can think of ways to improve them, we'd love to hear from you. Please send your feedback using the form below.

Acknowledgements. These tools couldn't have been possible without the help of several people who supported the Work Rights Centre team in bringing them to life. We're deeply indebted to Will Hadwen for lending us his expertise over the course of months of project development. For their careful feedback on the project, we'd also like to thank Luke Piper, Aoife O'Reilly, Hannah Lennox, and Georgiana Murariu. We'd also like to thank the tireless team of volunteers who translated the tool and contributed to making it accessible for the people who need it most: Ania Lorenc, Anna Petrova, Katia Dowdle, Naoumi Lugutu, and Nia Ivanova. Any errors are solely the responsibility of the Work Rights Centre. This project was funded by the Brent Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL).