Claiming Universal Credits if you are self-employed

Universal Credits can help you’ve suffered a drastic reduction in your self-employed earnings, and any monies due from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will not bridge that gap.

Universal Credits are intended to provide a contribution to your living costs. This post has a brief summary of the issues you will need to consider if you do make a claim.

You will need to provide information about your earnings







Everyone claiming Universal Credit needs to report their self-employed earnings at the end of each monthly assessment period. This includes company directors, even those paying themselves by PAYE.

You will need to report payments into and out of your business in the assessment period. This includes:

  • total amount your business received
  • how much your business spent on different types of expenses, such as travel costs, stock, equipment and tools, clothing and office costs
  • how much tax and National Insurance you paid
  • any money you paid into a pension

If you’re looking to speak to someone on how to streamline the above in an easy-to-use application, speak to one of our Xero advisors today. 

How your Universal Credit payment is worked out

Your Universal Credit payment will be based on the earnings you report at the end of each monthly assessment period.

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, called a Minimum Income Floor. They are now based on your actual earnings.

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

If you are both self-employed and employed

Your Universal Credit payment will be calculated based on your combined earnings from self-employment and employment.

Reporting changes in your circumstances

You will need to report any change in circumstances, for example if you:

  • close your business
  • start a different kind of business
  • take a permanent job
  • are no longer able to work

We’re here to help

During this challenging time, it’s understandable to be at a loss on which financial support is best for you. Our free helpline was set up to give professional advice when it is most needed. Contact us with your concerns on 020 7183 8241.