How does it work?

Updated on 2 December 2019

Childcare

Universal credit is a new monthly benefit that is gradually replacing income support, income based jobseeker’s allowance, income related employment and support allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit and working tax credit.

Universal credit is gradually replacing income support, income based jobseeker’s allowance, income related employment and support allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit and working tax credit. It is a monthly benefit the amount you receive is based on your circumstances and income in the previous monthly ‘assessment period’. Existing tax credit claimants may be able to get the childcare element of working tax credit if they start paying for childcare costs.

Universal credit includes a childcare element. If you meet the qualifying conditions and you have eligible childcare costs, you can include your childcare costs in your claim. This element is worth up to 85% of your childcare costs. The maximum you can claim is 85% of £760.42 per month for one child (£646.35) or £1,303.57 (£1,108.04) per month for two or more children.

Universal credit is usually paid monthly into your bank account but you can ask for more frequent or alternative payments arrangements.

You can find out more about calculating a universal credit award on our website for advisers.

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