Earnings disregards are the amount a household can earn before their benefits are withdrawn and are there to help with the costs of starting and going to work, transport expenses for example. Under Universal Credit, earnings disregards will be higher, largely to give the first earner in a household a greater incentive to to take that first step into work.
For most benefit claimants, Earnings disregard will be the ‘disregard floor’. Claimants with zero (£0.00) housing costs will benefit from higher disregards, also called the ceiling.
The disregard floor for the following groups are:
- Couple household: £160
- Couple household with children: £200
- Couple household with limited capability for work: £175
- Single person: £58.00
- Lone parent: £230
- Lone parent with limited capability for work: £175
Note that the figures above are estimates based on figures available in the DWP policy briefing notes, updated to take into account the removal of council tax support from Universal Credit. The structure of disregards has been updated to reflect the draft Universal Credit Regulations. However, final figures have not been set and so are indicative only.
The DWP briefing note on disregards is available here.
After disregard levels are reached, earnings are withdrawn at a rate of 65p for every pound earned (after tax).