# Check how the new earnings rules affect your Universal Credit

Mae'r cyngor hwn yn berthnasol i Cymru. Gweler cyngor ar gyfer Gweler cyngor ar gyfer Lloegr, Gweler cyngor ar gyfer Gogledd Iwerddon, Gweler cyngor ar gyfer Yr Alban

From 13 May 2024, the rules changed for people who get Universal Credit and have to work or look for work as part of their claim.

You need to show your work coach that you’re looking for more work if you:

get Universal Credit

earn less than a certain amount each month - this is the ‘Administrative Earnings Threshold’ (AET)

The government has increased the AET from 13 May 2024.

If you’re not required to work at the moment - for example, if you’re a carer or have a young child aged under 3 - the change to the AET won’t affect you.

**Check how much you have to earn**

The new AET is:

£892 a month for single claimants

£1,437 a month combined earnings for joint claimants - this means you claim with a partner who usually lives with you

These amounts refer to your ‘gross income’ - this is before tax is deducted.

If you earn more than the AET, you don’t need to look for more work.

If you earn less than the AET, you’ll need to either increase the number of hours you work or show your work coach you’re looking for more work.

If you're working but you're not sure how much you're paid each month, start by checking how much you get paid each hour. You can check your wage slip or ask your employer.

Check if you’re getting paid at or above the National Minimum Wage. This is:

£11.44 if you’re aged 21 or over

£8.60 if you’re aged 18 to 20

### If you get paid the National Minimum Wage

If you’re aged 21 or over, you need to work at least 18 hours a week to earn the AET.

If you’re aged 18 to 20, you need to work at least 24 hours a week to earn the AET.

If you’re a couple, and you both get the National Minimum Wage, you’ll need to work 29 hours a week between you.

Amir works 15 hours a week and gets paid the National Minimum Wage - this is £11.44 an hour.

Amir works out how much he earns each week by multiplying £11.44 by 15. £11.44 x 15 = £171.60. This gives him £171.60 a week.

Amir works out how much he earns each year by multiplying £171.60 by 52. £171.60 x 52 = £8,923.20. This gives him £8,923.20 a year.

He then divides £8,923.20 by 12. £8,923.20 / 12 = £743.60. This gives him £743.60 a month.

As £743.60 is under the AET of £892, he now needs to show his work coach that he’s looking for more work.

### If you get paid more than the National Minimum Wage

Multiply your hourly wage by the number of hours you work in a week.

Then, multiply this amount by 52. This will give you your annual earnings.

Divide your annual wage by 12 to get your monthly wage.

If your monthly earnings are less than £892 a month, you’ll need to show your work coach that you’re looking for more work.

Kiri works 15 hours a week and gets paid £15.23 an hour.

Kiri works out how much she earns each week by multiplying £15.23 by 15. £15.23 x 15 = £228.45. This gives her £228.45 a week.

Kiri works out how much she earns each year by multiplying £228.45 by 52. £228.45 x 52 = £11,879.40. This gives her £11,879.40 a year.

She then divides £11,879.40 by 12. £11,879.40 / 12 = £989.95. This gives her £989.95 a month.

As £989.95 is over the AET of £892, Kiri doesn’t need to show her work coach that she’s looking for more work.

### If your earnings are different each month

If there’s a cycle to the hours you work, your earnings will be averaged over this cycle. For example, if you usually work 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, your earnings will be averaged over the 4 weeks.

If there’s not a cycle to the hours you work, your earnings are worked out using an average of 3 months - or another time period if that gives a more accurate figure.

If you don't think the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has used the best time period, you can ask for them to look at a different period. Leave a note for them in your online journal.

**If you earn less than the threshold**

You need to show your work coach that you’re looking for more work.

Ask your work coach if they can help you to find more work.

If you don’t show you’re looking for more work, you could get a sanction. This means your Universal Credit payments will be temporarily reduced.

Check what to do if you've been sanctioned.

**If you’re not able to work more**

You might not be able to work more, for example if you have caring responsibilities or are studying.

Talk to your work coach - explain to them why you’re not able to work more hours. They might be able to help you to find a job that pays you more each hour.

If you have a child under 3 years old, you might be able to get 15 hours of free funded childcare a week. Check how to claim for 15 hours of free childcare.

**If you’re finding things difficult**

Your mental health is as important as your physical health. You should talk to your GP if money problems are affecting your mental health.

If your health problems mean you’re not able to work at the moment, you might be able to get a ‘fit note’ from a healthcare professional. The fit note confirms your health condition to the DWP.

You can find other ways to get help with your mental health on the Mind website.

**If you need to speak to someone **

You can speak to a trained volunteer at organisations like Samaritans or Shout.

**Samaritans**

Helpline: 116 123 (Monday to Sunday at any time)

Welsh Language Line: 0808 164 0123 (Monday to Sunday 7pm to 11pm)

Calls to Samaritans are free.

You can find other ways to get in touch with Samaritans on their website.

**Shout**

You can also text 'SHOUT' to 85258 to start a conversation with a trained Shout volunteer. Texts are free, anonymous and confidential from anywhere in the UK.

**If you think it's an emergency**

If you think your life or someone else’s is at risk, you should call 999 or go to A&E if you can.

You can also find a list of urgent mental health services on the Mind website.

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Adolygwyd y dudalen ar
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21 Mai 2024
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