In this article we will answer the most frequently asked questions that people have about Universal Credit. If you have more questions, you can let us know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
What Help Could I Get?
No two people are the same. With Universal Credit, your payment will take account of your circumstances.
Your Universal Credit will include a standard allowance which will vary depending on your age and if you are part of a couple. It could also include additional amounts to help towards costs like housing or childcare.
Your household income and savings will also be taken into account and could affect your Universal Credit Payment.
You will usually receive your first payment 5 weeks from the day you apply. So it´s important that you submit your application and supporting documents as soon as possible.
After this, you´ll then receive your payment on the same day of each month.
If you need money sooner then you can apply for a repayable advance which could be up to the estimated amountof your first monthly Universal Credit payment.
You will then repay this in instalments wich will be deducted form your monthly Universal Credit payments. You can apply for a repayable advance online or at your local jobcentre, where they can also signpost you to practical support to help you manage your money.
Is Universal Credit for Me?
Universal Credit is already providing financial support to millions of people across the country.
It replaces a number of different benefits and combines them into one monthly payment:
- Income Support
- Jobseeker´s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
This is to help towards things like housing costs and household bills. You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you´re out to work on a low income, are a single parent or full time carer or if you have a health condition or disability.
If you can work, then you can also get support finding and applying for jobs. If you can´t work at the moment, Universal Credit can continue to support you.
And if you are already receiving benefits, you don´t need to do anything just yet.
What is a Repayable Advance?
When you claim Universal Credit, you´ll usually receive your first payment five weeks from the date you make your claim. If you need money before then you can apply for a repayable advance to help.
An advanced payment is an interest-free payment that you´ll need to pay back.
This is how it works.
You can apply for an advance through your online Universal Credit account or through your work coach. You can usually borrow up to the estimated value of your first monthly Universal Credit payment.
You will normally pay your advance back over 12 months, in equal amounts which are deducted from your monthly Universal Credit payments. If you are still claiming Universal Credit, after you´ve repaid the advance then the monthly deductions will stop.
If you stop claiming Universal Credit, you´ll usually be asked to repay the remaining balance.
What Support is Available to me?
Universal Credit provides support to millions of people across the country.
We know that no two people are the same – that´s why every Universal Credit claim is assessed individually.
There is a standard allowance of Universal Credit, but you may be awarded more. This will depend on your household circumstances, for example if you need support paying for
housing or childcare costs.
If you’re looking for work you will usually be given a work coach. They will offer you practical support including help with your job search, making the most of your skills, creating and reviewing your CV or job applications, and interview preparation and practice.
If you need some extra help there is also a range of support available from our trained staff and our network of partners, such as budgeting support to help you manage your money.