A Universal Credit Advance (new claim) or (change of circumstances) is an interest free advance of benefit for claimants who can show a financial need, which will be recovered over a set period of time, usually up to 12 months.
A Universal Credit advance is a loan of future Universal Credit payments to help you cover living expenses while your claim is being processed, or during the first five week before a payment is made.
To be eligible for a short-term advance you must:
You can only get an advance if it seems likely that your claim will be successful.
You have to apply for a short-term advance. The amount of advance you can get depends on the amount of Universal Credit you are likely to get and how long you expect to wait for payments to start.
You usually have to repay the full amount of the advance within 12 months. You can ask for your repayments to be delayed for up to three months if you can’t afford them. This is only allowed in exceptional circumstances.
Repayments are deducted in installments from your Universal Credit payments once you start receiving them. Jobcentre Plus must tell you in writing how much will be deducted from your payments.
You do not have to pay interest on a short-term advance.
You apply for a short-term advance of Universal Credit through Jobcentre Plus. You can apply at the same time as making your claim for Universal Credit or afterwards.
To have the most chance of success you must provide as much information as you can about your circumstances and financial need. For example, you could:
It helps if you can show what your monthly living expenses are. Working out a monthly budget is also useful and helps you prepare for managing the monthly payments of Universal Credit once they start.
You may want to get help with your application from an advice service.
You can ask for a Universal Credit advance:
You can call the Universal Credit helpline or speak to your work coach. The Universal Credit helpline adviser will need to speak to you and your partner if you have a joint Universal Credit claim.
You’ll need to:
If you live in Slough which is a Universal Credit Full Service Area you make a claim via your online account and contact DWP via your online journal.
You can also telephone 0800 328 5644 / Textphone 0800 328 1344 - Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
DWP will usually let you know on the same day if you can get an advance.
You do not have the right to appeal if Jobcentre Plus decides you are not entitled to a short-term advance.
If your application for an advance of Universal Credit is rejected, you may be able to find other sources of financial help while you are waiting for your benefit payments to start. You may be able to claim a discretionary housing payment from the council - contact us on 01753 475111 or come to MyCouncil, Landmark Place, High Street, Slough, SL1 1JL.
We also offer Local Welfare Provision, please contact MyCouncil for further information.
You may be able to get a budgeting advance if you need extra money for a one-off expense or expensive essential items such as fridges and cookers.
Budgeting advances replace social fund budgeting loans for people claiming Universal Credit. They have longer repayment periods than those for short-term budgeting advances.