Try harder Polly, really

Remember, to qualify for universal credit, a household’s income must fall below £7,400 a year:

That’s simply not true, nowhere near.

For a start the different sizes of households mean that there is no one such limit. Secondly, this is the amount at which UC starts to taper, not the amount at which it ends.

At least, that’s what a quick look around leads me to believe – but whether I’ve done more or less research than Polly is still open.

Having just run a silly example through a UC benefits calculator Polly simply must be wrong. £7,800 a year in labour income for a single person, council flat, in Bath, no HB, gives a UC payment of £3,600 a year. Not a lot, to be sure, but more than nothing.

11 thoughts on “Try harder Polly, really”

  1. Absolutely not true, one of my late father’s carers earned about £24k/yr from her work for him, she has 4 children and she was getting UC on top of that, possibly up to £1k/month.

    It could be there is some internal calculation figure that says after you remove expenses X,Y and Z from the gross income figure, and the resulting figure is below £7400 then you qualify for UC, but as a gross income qualification level its nonsense.

    In fact for self employed people its far worse than £7400 – the implied income assumption for the self employed is (I think) 35 hours at minimum wage, so regardless of what you actually earn you are assumed to be earning about £311/week to start with. This floor was removed when the pandemic hit, for obvious reasons, but is soon to be reinstated I’m told by my acquaintance who is claiming it.

  2. Someone has read your piece and corrected that – it now says that household income has to fall below £7400 to qualify for free school meals.

  3. Google says that free school meals threshold is £14000 if you receive UC, £16190 id you receive child tax credit or working tax credit.
    So The Grauniad’s “correction” is *still* a lie.

  4. Last time I checked there was no income threashold to get free school meals. The criteria was if you were receiving benefits, not what your income was. Willing to be corrected.

  5. Plus to add to the comments on self-employed threshold for Corvid payments – in my experience it must be some negative number as I’ve applied several times since The Dark Times began and have never qualified.

    First time was one month after a contract ended. Didn’t qualify for furlough because I was no longer employed, the scheme started after my job ended. Didn’t qualify for the self-employed free money thing as I’d worked for somebody else for too long in the last year. Didn’t qualify for contributory universal credit because, even though I’d worked “too much” for one benefit I’d somehow also worked “not enough” for the other benefit.

  6. @ jgh
    I didn’t even bother to apply because my earnings for the latest year were less than my pension, so that excluded me.
    Basically we aren’t the ones in greatest need – hence the complete exclusion of anyone who had been earning >£50k even if he suddenly went to <-£100k

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