What Is The Work Allowance?

You may be entitled to the work allowance element of universal credit if any of the following conditions apply to you.

  • You are responsible for a child or an approved carer
  • If you are living with a disability that effects your ability to work

You work allowance award will be lower is you receive the the housing benefit element. See the table below for a reference on what your allowance may be.

Your CircumstancesWork Allowance (Per Month)
If You Get Housing Benefit£287
If You Do Not Get Housing Benefit£503

If you don’t get help with your housing costs £503.00 is ignored each month (work allowance).

If you get help with your housing costs £287 ignored each month (work allowance).

If you’re employed, your Universal Credit payment reduces gradually as you earn more (this is known as the taper).

For every £1 you earn (after tax and any deductions) your Universal Credit payment reduces by 63p.

work allowance

For Example:

You’re single, working and earn £240 during your Universal Credit assessment period. To work out how much will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment, take your earnings (£240) and multiply by the taper rate (£0.63) = £151.20 This means you keep all of your earnings (£240), and £151.20 will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment that month.

The following month you earn £350 during your Universal Credit assessment period. Use the same calculation £350 x £0.63 = £220.50 This means you keep all of your earnings (£350), and £220.50 will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment that month.

Work allowance and expenses

If you start work and have an outlay like uniform or one off costs like travel expenses, licenses etc, you may be liable to have these cost’s offset on your universal credit payment.

You will need to speak to your job center work coach for more information on Unreimbursed work expenses.

Your universal credit work allowance is subject to your circumstances. There are considerations that are taken into account like your earnings amount and benefits you already claim or are entitled too.