How to claim Universal Credit if you’re self-employed – The Sun | The Sun
UNIVERSAL Credit is used by millions to help them with the everyday cost of living.
But you may not know if you're self-employed you can also claim for the benefit.
Below, we detail when you'll be eligible for Universal Credit if you're self-employed, how to claim and how much you'll be entitled to.
Are you entitled to Universal Credit if you're self-employed?
The simple answer is yes. If you're self-employed, you'll be able to apply for Universal Credit.
But if you want to get it, you'll have to show that:
- Self-employment is your main job or your main source of income
- You set regular work from self-employment
- You have invoices and receipts, or accounts
- You expect to make a profit
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This means you'll have to give your Universal Credit work coach evidence of your:
- tax returns, accounts and any business plan
- Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re registered for Self Assessment
- customer and supplier lists, receipts and invoices
- marketing materials
Once you have shown all these things, you'll be considered to be "gainfully self-employed" and eligible.
How to claim Universal Credit when you're self-employed
The process to claim is the same as if you are not self-employed.
That means you can apply for Universal Credit online.
You'll need to create an account which you'll use to make a claim.
One thing to remember is you'll need to complete your claim within 28 days of creating your account or you will have to start the process again.
If you can't claim online, if you don't have access to a computer or mobile phone for example, you can call up the Universal Credit helpline.
The number is 0800 328 5644.
You can always get free support from trained advisors to make a Universal Credit claim.
They can help you through online applications or preparing for jobcentre appointments.
You can get help to claim if you live in England online.
How much Universal Credit am I entitled to?
If you are deemed gainfully self-employed while claiming Universal Credit, you won't be expected to look for other work.
However, it will be assumed you are earning the same amount as someone like you who is in paid work and around a similar age.
This amount is referred to as the Minimum Income Floor.
If you earn less than the Minimum Income Floor, Universal Credit will make up the difference through your monthly payments.
This might put you in a situation
where you have to look for additional work to top up your income.
If you earn more than the Minimum Income Floor, your Universal Credit payment will be based on your actual earnings.
However, the Minimum Income Floor will not be applied for up to 12 months if you are newly gainfully self-employed during what is called the start up period.
You should make sure you're reporting any earnings from self-employment to the Department for Work and Pensions every month.
There are a number of free calculators that you can use to help you get an estimate, such as Gov.uk, Citizen’s Advice, MoneySavingExpert, StepChange and Turn2Us.
We previously revealed the five biggest mistakes those on Universal Credit make that could see the benefit docked or stopped completely.
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