Universal Credit…Managing your Money

Universal Credit is one single monthly payment that is paid in arrears. It will usually be up to you to pay your rent and bills for the month using this money.

You may be used to managing your money on a monthly basis, but if not you will need to make sure you can pay all your bills from this single payment. In most cases this will include paying your own rent and other housing costs.

Budgeting Support

A range of support services are available to help you budget. You can talk to your work coach about the type of help you might need. Options could include an online service, advice sessions by phone, or face-to-face support.

If you want some help with your managing your money, you can use the online Money Manager. This is a digital tool created by the Money Advice Service, which offers personalised money management advice.

Help while waiting for your claim

You will have to wait one calendar month from your assessment date before your first Universal Credit payment is made. This is called your assessment period. You will then need to wait up to seven days for the payment to reach your bank account. This means it can take up to 6 weeks before you receive your first payment.

If you are currently claiming Housing Benefit you should receive a two week run-on period.

If you don’t have enough money to live on while you wait for your first payment, you can ask the DWP for an advance payment.

Advance Payments 

If you have made a Universal Credit claim but are unable to manage until your first payment, you may be able to get a Universal Credit advance.

The maximum amount you can borrow will be the same as your first estimated Universal Credit monthly payment. You’ll need to pay back your advance a little at a time from your future Universal Credit payments. You’ll usually pay your advance back over a 12 month period. To apply for an advance payment you’ll need to:

  • let the Department for Work and Pensions know why you need the advance.
  • provide your bank details so that the money can be paid if an advance is agreed.
  • verify your identity – you’ll do this online when you submit your Universal Credit claim, or in the Job Centre during your first interview.
  • show that you can pay it back.
  • agree to pay it back.

You will usually be told if you can get an advance on the same day that you apply for it. You can apply for an advance payment via your Online Account, by speaking to your Work Coach or by calling the Helpline on 0800 328 9344 – lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. Read more about getting a Universal Credit advance by clicking here.

Remember we’re here to help. If you’d like any further information or support please contact the BCH Rents Team on Tel: 01253 477900 and choose Option 1 or Email:


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