What’s it like when you claim Universal Credit

Last Updated on 19 September 2023

Sole trader Sarah Carless has been freelancing for 25 years. She’s a floor manager, so nothing daunts her!

Listen to her experience of applying for Universal Credit when her work dried up because of coronavirus. (See also the important note below the video.)

Recorded Wednesday 25 March 2020

Of course everyone’s experience will be slightly different, but for creative freelancers this might help you understand the process.

Important note: If you’re already on other benefits, such as Housing Benefit or JSA it might not make you better off to be on Universal Credit – in fact you could be worse off.

This is because UC replaces other benefits for new claimants, but can be calculated at a lower rate.

Other sources of useful info:

Here are a couple of websites that can help you to work out what you might be eligible for, before you go through the rigmarole of applying.

Both sites use a nifty online calculator to help work out how much you might get.



Remember that if you’re entitled to money, it’s yours.

Just because you are entitled it doesn’t take the money away from anyone else. If they’re entitled they will get it too. It’s not like the pot runs out.

NB: David Thomas Media Ltd is not responsible for the content of other sites nor any financial advice provided by them.

Posted on 25 March 2020

  1. Alison said:

    This was extremely helpful and I thank you for putting up this quick video. The whole Universal Credit process is long and daunting and to get a better idea of what is expected in the application process and in regards to the “commitments” part of UC was extremely helpful. Thank you, David, for organising this and thank you, Sarah for sharing your experience in detail!

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