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Can I Claim Universal Credit on an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. However, you may wonder, “Can I claim universal credit on an apprenticeship?”

Apprenticeships offer a valuable opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. Therefore, financial support can be crucial to cover living expenses for those embarking on an apprenticeship.

In this article, we will explore whether you can claim Universal Credit while undertaking an apprenticeship, providing the necessary information to understand your eligibility and how it may affect your benefits.

Can I Claim Universal Credit on an Apprenticeship

Understanding Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit administered by the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is designed to replace several existing benefits, including Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, and Working Tax Credit. Universal Credit is intended to simplify the welfare system and provide a more streamlined approach to accessing financial support.

Eligibility for Universal Credit on an Apprenticeship

While apprenticeships are a form of employment, whether you can claim Universal Credit on an apprenticeship depends on various factors. These factors include your age, earnings, and circumstances.

Age Restrictions

If you are aged 16 to 17, you may be eligible for Universal Credit on an apprenticeship, subject to meeting other criteria. You may still be eligible if you are 18 or over, but additional conditions may apply.


The amount of Universal Credit you receive will be based on your earnings. Your Universal Credit payment may be reduced or stopped if you earn above a certain threshold. Therefore, it is essential to inform the DWP of any changes in your income so that they can adjust your benefit accordingly.

Working Hours and Conditions

As an apprentice, you will be working and receiving a wage. Therefore, the number of hours you work per week can affect your eligibility for Universal Credit. Generally, if you work more than 16 hours per week, you may not be eligible for Universal Credit. However, there are exceptions for those with caring responsibilities or disabilities.


Universal Credit also considers your circumstances, such as whether you have children or a disability. Additional elements like childcare costs, housing costs, and health conditions may entitle you to receive extra support on top of your standard Universal Credit payment.

How to Apply for Universal Credit on an Apprenticeship

To apply for Universal Credit, create an online account on the government’s official website or contact your local Jobcentre Plus. The application process requires providing personal information, details about your apprenticeship, and any relevant documents.

When applying, providing accurate and up-to-date information is crucial to ensure you receive the correct amount of Universal Credit and avoid potential penalties for incorrect reporting.


While apprenticeships offer a unique opportunity for learning and earning simultaneously, understanding your eligibility for Universal Credit is essential to ensure financial stability during your apprenticeship. The rules and criteria for claiming Universal Credit on an apprenticeship depend on age, earnings, and personal circumstances.

Updated on May 22, 2023

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