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Universal Credit Advance

When you first make a claim for Universal Credit you will have to wait around five weeks for your first payment. If you face financial hardship during this period of time you can request an Advance Payment of Universal Credit. The Advance Payment is a loan which you have to pay back from your Universal Credit payments a bit at a time. You don’t pay any interest on a Universal Credit Advance Payment.

1. What is Universal Credit Advance?

When you first make a claim for Universal Credit you will have to wait around five weeks for your first payment.

If you face financial hardship during this period of time you can request an Advance Payment of Universal Credit. 

The Advance Payment is a loan which you have to pay back from your Universal Credit payments a bit at a time. You don’t pay any interest on a Universal Credit Advance Payment.

 

Applies to: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Age rules; You must be aged 16 or over

Type of benefit: Means tested

Taxable: No

Administered by: Department for Work and Pensions

 

Updated: February 2018
 

2. Can I get a Universal Credit Advance?

You have to be in financial need to get a Universal Credit advance.  You may be able to get a UC Advance if you are in financial need following a:

  • new claim for Universal Credit, because you have to wait at least five weeks for the first payment
  • change of circumstances which means you are waiting for an increase in your entitlement

You will have to tell the DWP how much money you need and what you need it for.  You should give a breakdown of how much you need for essential items such as rent, bills, and food.  The DWP will then decide whether to pay you an advance and if so how much advance payment they can give you.

If they refuse you a Universal Credit Advance you can ask them to reconsider the decision.

 

Updated February 2018

3. How much Universal Credit Advance will I get?

The amount of this can be up to 100% of your estimated entitlement to Universal Credit.  However, you will have to pay this amount back through deductions from your future payments of Universal Credit.

You will have to tell the DWP how much money you need and what you need it for.  You should provide  a breakdown of how much you need for essential items such as rent,  bills, and food.  The DWP will then decide how much advance payment they can give you. 

You will normally receive the advance within five days of requesting it, but if the DWP agree your situation is urgent payment can be made quicker (even on the same day in some cases).


How do I repay a Universal Credit Advance?

Repayments are made by making deductions directly from your monthly Universal Credit award lasting a period of up to 12 months. You can ask for the repayments of the advance to be delayed for up to 3 months if you cannot afford it. This is only allowed in exceptional circumstances. 
The Universal Credit helpline adviser assesses whether you can afford to repay the advance. If they agree to the advance, they will tell you over the phone:

  • how much you can have

  • the monthly repayment amounts

  • when the first repayment is due.

 

Updated May 2019

4. How do I claim a Universal Credit Advance?

You can request an advance payment by:

  • Speaking to your Work Coach or
  • Via your Universal Credit online journal if you have an online account; or
  • Calling the Universal Credit Helpline:

           Telephone 0800 328 5644
           Textphone 0800 328 1344

           Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

When requesting an advance you will be asked to:

  • explain why you need an advance,
  • provide your bank details so that the DWP can arrange a payment if an advance is agreed and
  • have had your identity checked for your new Universal Credit Claim.  

You will usually be told the same day if you can receive the advance payment.

When can I claim a Universal Credit Advance

You claim a Universal Credit Advance when:

  • you first claim Universal Credit, or
  • you are waiting for your first payment of Universal Credit, or
  • you have just reported a change of circumstance to the DWP, which increases your entitlement but your waiting for the increase to be paid.

 

Updated February 2018

 

 

5. How do I challenge a Universal Credit Advance decision

If you are refused a Universal Credit Advance or you disagree with the amount, you can ask the DWP to reconsider their decision.  However, if you are still not happy with their decision after they have reconsidered it there is no right of appeal against:

  • A refusal to offer a Universal Credit Advance Benefit Advance, or
  • The amount of a Universal Credit Advance

 

Updated February 2018