Hi all a quick update for parents of teenagers aged 16-17 who will soon be leaving school and the impact if they are not continuing in education/training until the age of 18.  

Please ensure that your children are educated about the implications of Universal credit and the impact on a family if a child is not in education and training particularly is the family is in receipt of the rent payment(Housing Element). 

Universal Credit has replaced the 6 main benefits see below:

 The minimum age for claiming Universal Credit is 16 years, this applies only if the 16/17-year-old :

  • has limited capability for work; and are awaiting an assessment to determine whether they have limited capability for work and has a statement from a medical professional stating they are not fit for work;
  • has regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person;
  • is responsible for a child;
  • is a member of a couple and their partner is entitled to UC and is responsible for a child or a qualifying young person;
  • is pregnant, and it is 11 weeks or less before her expected week of child-birth, or was pregnant and it is 15 weeks or less since the date of the birth; or
  • is without parental support.

Exemptions: if you’re in training or studying full-time

 How much will you get?

This applies to everyone:

The amount of Universal Credit you can get depends on your circumstances, including your income and how many children you have.

benefits calculator can help you check if you can get Universal Credit or other benefits.

Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a monthly ‘Standard Allowance’ and any extra amounts you may be entitled to.


Monthly Standard Allowance

Your circumstances Monthly Standard Allowance
Single and under 25 £251.77
Single and 25 or over £317.82
In a couple and you’re both under 25 £395.20
In a couple and either of you are 25 or over £498.89

Extra amounts

If you’re eligible, you may get more money on top of your Standard Allowance.

Your circumstances    Extra monthly amount
For your first child £277.08 (born before 6 April 2017)
£231.67 (born on or after 6 April 2017)
For your second child £231.67
If you need help with childcare costs Up to 85% of your costs (up to £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04 for two children)
If you have a child with disabilities or severe disabilities £126.11 to £383.86
If you have a disability or health condition that stops you from working £328.32
If you care for a person with disabilities £156.45

Housing costs

You may get money to help pay your housing costs. This is known as a

‘Housing Element’.

This can cover:

  • Rent
  • Some service charges

The housing element does not cover costs for living in temporary accommodation or supported housing, such as a hostel. In these circumstances, you may be able to apply for Housing Benefit.

If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get Support for Mortgage Interest. This is a loan to help towards interest payments on your mortgage or other loans you’ve taken out for your home.

Work Allowance

Your Universal Credit payment will reduce gradually the more you earn.

For every £1 you earn, your Universal Credit payment will be reduced by £0.63.

You can earn a certain amount before your Universal Credit is reduced if you or your partner either:

  • Are responsible for a child or young person
  • Have a disability or health condition that affects your ability to work

Your Work Allowance will be lower if you get help with housing costs.


Your circumstances


Monthly work allowance

You get help with housing costs           £198
You don’t get help with housing costs           £409

Your responsibilities when claiming Universal Credit

 It is YOUR responsibility to make sure the information you provide is accurate when claiming Universal Credit.

Your Commitment

As part of your claim you will need to accept ‘Your Commitment’. and agree this with your Work Coach.

Your Commitment will set out the tasks you have agreed to do in order to prepare you to look for work, as well as increase your earnings.

This may include:

  • Going to interviews in your local Jobs & Benefits office
  • Preparing a CV
  • Going on a training course or employment program
  • Applying for jobs
  • Registering with a Recruitment Agency

The tasks you agree to will also depend on things such as your health, your responsibilities at home and how much help you need to get to work or to increase your income. Your Commitment will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.



Your Universal Credit payment may be ‘Reduced’ or Stopped’ if you Do Not meet the responsibilities stated in Your Commitment and you cannot give good reason to explain. This is known as a ‘Sanction‘.  A sanction will tell you how much Universal Credit payment you will lose and for how long.


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