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Once a Universal Credit claim is made, claimants have to wait before they receive their first payment. However, if you need money earlier than the five-week wait for the first Universal Credit payment, you can apply for an advance in some circumstances.
How much Universal Credit advance can I get?
The amount of your first estimated Universal Credit payment is the most you can get as an advance.
You can get an advance if you need help to cover costs, such as for bills, rent or food, while waiting for your first Universal Credit payment to be paid.
You can use your online account to apply for an advance payment, and you will need to explain why you need an advance.
You’ll also be asked to verify your identity and provide bank details for the advance to be paid.
You can also apply for an advance through your Jobcentre Plus work coach.
If you need help applying, you can also call the Universal Credit helpline.
Citizens Advice explains you will usually “find out on the same day you ask for it” whether you can get a Universal Credit advance.
Citizens Advice adds: “Once the DWP have agreed to an advance payment you should get the money in three working days.
“Tell the DWP if you need it sooner than this – they can pay you on the same day if you’d have no other money to live on.”
If you get an advance on your Universal Credit payment, you have to pay this money back.
You can choose how many months you pay the advance back over, but it must be paid back within 12 months.
Your advance will start being deducted from your first Universal Credit payment.
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What is a Budgeting Advance?
If you are already claiming Universal Credit, you may be able to get a Budgeting Advance to help with some costs.
You can contact your local Jobcentre Plus work coach to apply for a Budgeting Advance.
You repay a Budgeting Advance through your Universal Credit payments, and how much you can borrow will depend on your personal circumstances.
Whether you will be able to pay the loan back, or if you have savings of more than £1,000, will be taken into account when deciding if you can get a Budgeting Advance.
Your eligibility will also depend on how long you have been claiming benefits, and your earnings over the past six months.
Any previous Budgeting Advance loans you have or haven’t paid off will also be considered.
The Government website explains you can get £348 if you are single, or £464 if you are part of a couple.
If you have children, the maximum you can borrow is £812.
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