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?
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 2021: 12 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA);
- Universal Credit;
- income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- State Pension
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 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.