Your Universal Credit award will be paid as a single monthly payment in arrears into your nominated bank, building society or credit union account.

You may have to wait around 5 weeks for your first payment, however if you are unable to manage during this period you may be able to get a Universal Credit advance.

Universal Credit advances

A Universal Credit advance can amount up to your first months estimated Universal Credit payment.

The advance is repayable and will be recovered in instalments from your future Universal Credit payments.

The advance must be paid back over a maximum period of 12 month.

You do not have to take all of the advance offered and can set your own repayment plan (so long as the advance is recovered within 12 months).

To apply for an Universal Credit advance payment you will need to:

  • advise the Department for Work and Pensions of the reasons why you require the advance
  • provide your bank details so that the money can be paid, if agreed
  • verify your identity, this can be done online when you submit your Universal Credit claim, or in the jobcentre during your first interview
  • show that you can pay it back
  • agree to pay it back.

You will normally be told if you can get an advance on the same day that you apply for it.

Your can apply for an advance payment through your online portal.

Alternative payment arrangements

If you are experiencing difficulties in managing your money and are in receipt of Universal Credit, you may be able to request an alternative payment arrangement.

These arrangements are changes to the way that your Universal Credit is paid and are designed to help you pay your bills and living costs.

The alternative payment arrangements currently available are:

  • the housing element of your Universal Credit can be paid directly to your landlord
  • changes to the frequency of payments, such as twice a month
  • split payments into two accounts.

You can request an alternative payment arrangement at your new claim interview.