Deductions from Universal Credit
Deductions can be made from your Universal Credit (UC) to repay money you owe to people like your landlord and energy company.
When deductions can be made
Money can be taken from your UC to repay debts for things like:
- rent and service charges
- mortgage interest
- gas, electricity and water
- council tax.
How deductions are made
Your landlord, utility company or local council can apply for money to be taken from your UC if you owe them money.
In most cases, the money will be taken automatically and you won’t need to give your permission. The deduction will show in your online UC account.
If no information is given about what the money is being taken for, leave a message in your UC journal or ring the UC helpline on 0800 328 5644 (Welsh language : 0800 328 1744) to find out more.
How much can be deducted?
Only 5% can be taken from the main part of your UC – called the standard allowance – for each debt you owe.
The exceptions are:
- rent arrears – anything between 10% and 20% of your standard allowance can be deducted (unlike deductions from housing benefit there is no longer a fixed amount)
- court fines – deductions are made at a minimum of 5% of your standard allowance and a maximum of £108.
Usually the total amount of deductions that can be made is up to 40% of your standard allowance for only 3 debts at a time. (This will reduce to 30% in October 2019).
Sometimes, more than 40% of your standard allowance can be taken if it’s thought to be in your best interests. For example, if it could help you to keep your home.
Can I get the deductions reduced?
If deductions are being made from your UC and they are making it hard for you to manage, ask your work coach if they can be reduced.
If you can’t get hold of your work coach, leave a note in your online journal or ring the UC helpline on 0800 328 5644 (Welsh language : 0800 328 1744).
Explain if the reduced amount is making things hard for you, for example if you’re struggling to:
- buy food
- look after your children
- pay your rent.
If you can show that you can clear the debt or rent arrears yourself the deductions might be stopped or reduced.