Universal Credit bonus: How to claim tax free bonus, how much is it?

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Universal Credit claims have soared, with more than 5,700,000 people claiming it in the UK at present. The base rate for single people under 25 per month is £342.72, but you get more if you are over 25 and in a couple. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but some claimants are entitled to an extra sum through the Help to Save Scheme. How much is the bonus?

This year, some Universal Credit Claimants will get a £10 bonus in the spirit of Christmas.

That’s not the only bonus you can get, there is another way to get the most out of you Universal Credit.

The Help to Save Scheme offering Brits on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit a hefty pay out.

The scheme allows certain Universal Credit claimants to open a savings account and earn two tax-free bonuses over four years.

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You can save between £1 and £50 a month and pay it into your Help to Save account by debit card, standing order or bank transfer.

The scheme only lasts for four years, and the bank account will close when the time runs out.

You can close the account whenever you like, but you won’t be able to open another one.

At the end of the second and fourth years of saving, you can get bonuses from the Government depending on how much you have saved.

How much is it?

The most money you can earn from your savings in four years is £1,200 in bonus money on top of the money you saved from your own earnings.

If you paid the maximum into your account each month, which is £50, you’d have £2,400 over four years.
That means after four years you could potentially have £3,600 if you get the bonus.

The bonus would be paid into your bank account, not your Help to Save account.

You can get two tax-free bonuses over four years, even if you draw out money.

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After the first two years, you’ll get a bonus if you have been using the account to save.

This will be 50 percent of the highest balance you have saved in the first two years.

For example, if you paid in £25 each month for two years and didn’t withdraw the money, your highest balance would be £600.

This means your first bonus would be £300, which is half of £600.

To get the second balance, your highest balance saved will need to increase.

After four years, you’ll get another bonus worth half of the difference between the following two amounts:

  • The highest balanced saved in the first two years (years one and two)
  • The highest balance saved in the last two years (years three and four)

If your highest balance doesn’t increase, you won’t get the final bonus.

For example, if you saved an extra £200 in years three and four and took your highest balance from £600 to £800, the difference is £200.

Half of £200 is £100, so that would be your final bonus.

How to claim tax free bonus

You’ll need to be claiming Universal Credit and have earned £604.56 or more from paid work in the last monthly assessment period to be eligible.

To apply for the Help to Save account and get the bonus, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password.

If you don’t have one, you have to create one when you apply here. 

You’ll need to provide your bank details when you apply.

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