Universal Credit Advance Payment in 2022: for those in financial hardship

8 December 2022 by Robin - 9 minutes of reading time

universal credit advance payment

What is a Universal Credit advance payment? How much will I get? Am I eligible? Do I need to pay it back? You may have applied for Universal Credit. Furthermore, you may be in a situation of financial hardship. In this case, you could receive a payment in advance. Your Benefits will tell you everything you need to know.

How much is Universal Credit advance payment?

What is a Universal Credit advance payment?

A Universal Credit advance payment is your first Universal Payment paid in advance. More specifically, you may be eligible for 100% of how much your first payment is supposed to be. However, note that this is a payment that you will need to pay back.

Typically, you will be able to pay back this advance in increments using future Universal Credit payments. However, if you no longer receive Universal Credit, you can pay back the advance using other benefits, or even your pay if you have a job.

How you will be able to pay this back is very straightforward. Payments are subtracted from your Universal Credit payments automatically. Furthermore, how long you have depends on whether it is a new claim or not, and when you applied:

  • Your situation changed and you applied for the advance: 6 months.
  • You made a new claim and applied for the advance prior to 12 April 202112 months
  • You made a new claim and applied for the advance on 12 April 2021 or later: 24 months

Furthermore, you may be able to ask to make repayments later than the usual period. However, this is only if you are experiencing financial hardship. You can push back your repayments for 3 months if you made a new claim. Otherwise, you may only delay payments by 1 month.

Note that typically, you will not be able to delay Universal Credit advance repayments. However, it can be done in certain situations.

You could get payments in your bank account. If you have financial difficulties, you are likely eligible. You can try calling the universal credit helpline for personal or financial information, or payment arrangements to claim universal credit. This is the case if you have trouble to pay your rent.

How much Universal Credit advance payment pay back

How to determine what you have to pay back depends on how you apply. Over the phone, if the advance is approved, you will be told three things. Frist, the amount you will receive, second, how much you will have to pay monthly, and third, when your first payment will need to be paid by.

If you apply online, this will be a bit easier. Indeed, you will be shown different repayment periods. For each, you will be able to see the amount that you need to pay back for each.

What if I stop getting Universal Credit?

You will still need to pay this back if you stop getting Universal Credit. Deductions will typically be made from other benefits that you receive. In fact, this will happen until everything is repaid.

You may not be eligible to receive any benefit. Then, you will receive a letter. More specifically, it will tell you how much you need to repay. Then, it will tell you to notify DWP Debt Management Contact Centre to figure out how to proceed. Do not put this to the side. It is extremely important that you follow the instructions.

If you do not pay the Universal Credit advance payment amounts necessary, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has some recourse. Indeed, you may work. Then, they can contact your employer. Payments would then be deducted from your pay. Additionally, they can get an independent debt collection agency to collect payments. 

You may really not be able to make the repayment amounts. In this case, call the DWP Debt Management contact centre on 0800 916 0647. This is if you are unable to pay back any amount.

The DWP can work with you to find something that works. In fact, they might be able to give you paying-slips for cash payments or cheques. Additionally, they could use Direct Credit to set up monthly repayments. In other words, they can help you find something that works for your situation.

What is a Universal Credit advance payment?

If needed, you could receive your first Universal Credit payment in advance. This is likely if you are experiencing financial hardship, like not being able to cover the costs for basic needs. The advance is something that you will need to pay back. This is known as a Universal Credit advance payment.

When you first apply for Universal Credit, you will typically receive your first payment 7 days after your assessment period. However, if you need to receive payments earlier, you could get an advance.

You will need to pay your advance back. In fact, you will be able to do it in increments. You will be able to do it either with your Universal Credit payments, or from other benefits or your pay.

If you receive Universal Credit, you may be able to receive additional help. Indeed, this could be a Budgeting Advance for example. Keep reading to learn more.

Apply for a Universal Credit advance payment

You can apply for a Universal Credit advance payment in a couple different ways. Indeed, you may do so online (on your account). Otherwise, you can talk to your Jobcentre Plus work coach. Lastly, you can phone the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644

You may already get Universal Credit. Additionally, you had a change in circumstances which results in you being able to be paid more. However, you did not receive the increased payments.

However, you may have made a new Universal Credit claim, and have not received your first payment. In both those situations, you can apply for an advance. 

Typically, decisions on Universal Credit advance payments come very quickly. In fact, you could receive a yes or no within the same day that you made your claim.

You may want to apply by phone or through your work coach. Then, you will need to first give your reasons why you should get a Universal Credit advance payment. You will need to give your bank information, as well as go to a Jobcentre to have your identity verified. If you have a partner, they will have to do this as well.

Apply for a Universal Credit advance payment online

You can apply for an advance payment on your online account. Click on ‘apply for an advance‘ there in order to apply. Note that you can only apply online if you are currently in your first Universal Credit assessment period.

You may not have done an interview with Jobcentre. Then, you will need to apply by phone. Furthermore, if you are in a couple, the appropriate questions will be asked. Finally, if you apply online, you will be able to see exactly how much you could get.

Not eligible for an adavance payment

You may not be able to receive a Universal Credit advance payment. This is the case if one of the following applies, you:

  • Have savings;
  • Receive redundancy payments or final earnings;
  • Currently reside with your friends, relatives or parents;
  • Have enough financially to sustain you until you get your next Universal Credit payment;
  • Did not get your identity verified at a Jobcentre.

Some of these may apply to you. Then, you do not have a statutory right to make an appeal. Furthermore, you can ask for your claim to be reconsidered. This might turn around your claim.

What is a Budgeting Advance?

How much is Universal Credit advance payment?

If you are eligible for an advance, you could also receive a Budgeting Advance. This is a loan that you can use to pay for various basic needs. In fact, anything linked with staying at your current work, finding work, emergency costs in your homes or funeral costs.

Like a Universal Credit advance payment, this is a loan that you will need to repay. However, it will be deducted from your Universal Credit payments directly. In other words, you will just receive less Universal Credit until it is paid back.

Like a Universal Credit advance payment, you may also pay this back through other benefits or even your work pay. In all these situations, you will know how much is being deducted.

To apply for a Budgeting Advance, simply notify your local Jobcentre Plus work coach. They will tell you how to proceed.

Am I eligible for a Budgeting Advance?

You could be eligible for a Budgeting Advance. Then, multiple things need to be true. First, you need to receive one of the following benefits:

You need to have received for at least 6 months. However, you could be eligible if this is not the case, but you need money concerning finding or keeping a job.

Furthermore, you need to have already reimbursed any Budgeting Advances you might have had before. Lastly, your income for the past 6 months needs to be below £2,600 (£3,600 (in total) for couples).

How much is a Budgeting Advance?

You can get a minimum of £100 with a Budgeting Advance. More specifically, depending on your situation, you may receive one of the following:

Budgeting Advance amounts per situation in 2022
What your situation is How much you could get
You have children Up to £812
You are in a couple Up to £464
You are single Up to £348

Note that how much you get mainly depends on 2 factors. First, on whether you can repay the loan or not. Second, on if you have more than £1,000 in your savings. Specifically, every £1 over £1000 in your savings will reduce your loan by £1.

You will need to pay back your Budgeting Advance within 12 months of receiving it.

You may not receive any benefit. Then, you will receive a letter telling you how much you need to pay back. Additionally, it will tell you to notify DWP Debt Management Contact Centre to figure out what to do next. Do not ignore this letter.

What else should I know?

You may need help with living costs, housing costs, or need alternative payment arrangements. Then, you can talk to your work, or contact citizens advice.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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