Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Gateway V Digital: Differences - Claims and MAPs

Single to Couple claim

In terms of new Universal Credit awards where two single Universal Credit claimants become a couple, their previous single claims will be brought to an end and they can be awarded Universal Credit as a couple without the need for a new claim ie they will be treated as having made the claim. (Para 8, Regulation 9, Universal Credit (Claims and Payments) Regulations.)

The Monthly Assessment Period for this couple claim will be the same monthly assessment period as whichever previous single claim ended earlier. (Para 3A, Regulation 21, Universal Credit Regulations.)

This is in contrast to the Live / Gateway system rules where the couple can choose which of the two Monthly Assessment Periods they would like to carry forward to the new couple claim and a new claim is required if one of the new couple was previously on Universal Credit as a couple.


Joseph and Audrey were each claiming Universal Credit as single people. Joseph’s Universal Credit award ran with a Monthly Assessment Period of 7th of one month to 6th of the next. And Audrey’s Universal Credit award ran from 22nd of one month to 21st of the next. Joseph moves in with Audrey on 15th November and they report this change to the DWP. Both single claims are stopped – Joseph’s from 7th November and Audrey’s from 22nd October. They are awarded Universal Credit as a couple from 22nd October and their Monthly Assessment Period will be 22nd of one month to 21st of the next.

(For new couples, where only one has been on Universal Credit there is no change to the rules, they also do not need to make a new claim for Universal Credit and will be treated as having made a couple claim. The previous single claim will end and the new award as a couple will start from the beginning of the Monthly Assessment Period in which they became a couple. (Para 3B, Regulation 21, Universal Credit Regulations.))

And these rules apply even if, at the beginning of the Monthly Assessment Period the 'new' member of the couple was under 18, not in GB or a 'prisoner' ie normally excluded from getting Universal Credit, as long as by the end of the Monthly Assessment period they are entitled to claim. (Para 3D, Regulation 21, Universal Credit Regulations.)

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