On Universal Credit

Universal Credit

Get Up to £10,000 For Energy Efficiency Improvements To Your Home

Universal Credit Account

Since the start of the Pandemic Britain’s economy has been plunged into the deepest recession for more than 300 years. With repeat lockdowns, a lack of clarity about the future and continued Covid restrictions, far fewer companies are advertising to hire new staff.

The number of people being made redundant in the UK is rising at the fastest pace on record as the second wave of Covid-19 hits and tougher lockdown measures put increasing pressure on businesses and workers.

Unemployment recently hit a four-year high and as a result, many more people are claiming Universal Credit.

Unemployed Benefits

However, despite unemployment being far from a desirable state, being on Universal Credit does entitle you to many government benefits. These include those related to improving the energy efficiency of UK homes.

If you are affected by coronavirus or its impact on the economy and have got a Universal Credit Account, there is a wide range of support available to you.

There are freebies on offer from UK energy providers for those claiming Universal Credit if your home qualifies that range from funding for new loft and cavity wall insulation to new boiler grants.

    Who Qualifies For Boiler Grants

    To qualify you will have to be a homeowner in receipt of Universal Credit or one of fifteen other qualifying benefits.

    How Much Can You Save

    According to the Energy Saving Trust, a new boiler typically costs £2,300, but some householders can get a grant that can reduce that down as low as £200-£400.

    Apart from the cost of the boiler itself, the Energy Saving Trust says heating accounts for about 55% of what people spend each year on energy bills, meaning that a new efficient A-rated boiler could save you as much as £315 each year.

    On Universal Credit

    In certain cases you might be offered one of the new generation systems of condensing boiler combined with Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP). From 2025 gas boilers will be banned in new built homes and replaced with alternatives including these ASHP systems.

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    Who Qualifies For Insulation Grants

    To qualify you will have to be a homeowner, a private tenant who obtained permission of a landlord or a landlord with qualifying tenants. The person residing in the property must be in receipt of Universal Credit or one of fifteen other qualifying benefits.

    How Much Can You Save

    The Energy Saving Trust suggests cavity wall insulation typically costs up to £610 to install and can save between £85 and £280 per year on your energy bills, depending on the size of your home. Loft insulation costs up to £395 and can save between £135 and £250 a year.

    Energy firms are offering it for free or occasionally with a minor contribution of around £50.

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    A separate scheme was announced in July 2020 by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help paying for a range of different energy efficiency improvements - such as low carbon heating systems, insulation or double glazing. Boilers and Solar PV are not a part of this scheme. However, you can apply for an ECO grant instead.

    Who Qualifies For Green Home Grants

    To qualify, you need to be a homeowner living in England. Your property should not be a new build and you must be in receipt of Universal Credit or one of the other qualifying benefits.

    How Much Can You Save

    You can get up to £10,000 in vouchers to cover the entire cost of energy efficiency improvements.

    To get involved, you will need to act quickly as the Government has said that work has to be completed by 31 March 2022 at the latest.

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Claiming Universal Credit

Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits, with all eventually being phased out: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit.

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Calculating universal credit

Calculating Universal Credit

The standard Universal Credit allowance increased on 6 April 2020 with the amount a single claimant aged 25 and over going up from £317.82 to £409.89 a month. This goes up to £594.04 per month for 2 adults making a joint claim.

Since 30 March 2020, the way your Universal Credit payment is worked out has changed because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Payments are no longer calculated using an assumed level of earnings referred to as the Minimum Income Floor. They are now based on your actual earnings.

If your payments were calculated using the Minimum Income Floor method, they may change.

To calculate how much you are entitled to, please use Benefits Calculators on the UK government website.

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Covid's Impact On The British Economy

Before the pandemic struck, unemployment sat at 4% in February 2020. Recent data shows that unemployment has now reached 5%, representing more than 1.7 million people. This unemployment rate is also expected to more than double from pre-pandemic levels to 7.5% this Summer after furlough ends, meaning that more than 2.6 million people will be out of work.

Government Support During The Pandemic

Economists believe that unemployment would be much higher without furlough in place, while joblessness on a par with the 1980s of about 12% – forecasted early in the pandemic – has thankfully so far been avoided.

The government’s furlough scheme has been topping up the wages of almost 10 million workers at more than 1.2m UK companies since the Covid crisis began and the number of people on furlough hit a peak of almost 9 million in May 2020 during the first lockdown.

This gradually fell as the economy reopened last summer, however, at its intended end date in October, more than 2 million workers were still receiving its support. These numbers swelled further during renewed lockdowns after the scheme was extended, reaching almost 4 million by the end of 2020.

The scheme, now due to run until the end of April 2022, has provided Billions of pounds to subsidise lost income for self-employed workers, but millions of people have fallen through the cracks and received no emergency Covid support at all.

Universal Credit account

Benefits On Universal Credit