Getting Paid

After you apply it will usually take around 5 weeks to get your first Universal Credit payment.

You can ask for an Advance Payment of Universal Credit if you don’t think you’ll have enough money to live on while you wait for your first payment.

After you’ve got your first payment, you’ll be paid monthly and usually on the same date as the first payment.

First Payment

Universal Credit is paid monthly – based on the date you claimed – and is paid in arrears.

When you make a new claim for Universal Credit you will have:

  • A calendar month before your entitlement is assessed, then
  • Up to 7 days before your payment is processed

Example

On-going Payment

You’ll then be paid calendar monthly, usually on the same date each month. But if that date falls at the weekend or on a bank holiday then you will be paid on the last working day before this.

Example

Budgeting

If you’re used to working out your budget weekly or fortnightly you’ll need to think about how you’ll manage your money for a whole month.

You may need to change the date you pay certain bills – let the billing company know what you are doing.

If you think you will find it difficult to manage your money monthly then talk to your work coach about the system of Alternative Payment Arrangements. They can allow some claimants to receive their Universal Credit payments twice monthly.

Example

Paying your rent

It is your responsibility to make sure your rent is paid. Make sure you prioritise your rent otherwise you could risk losing your home.

Example

IMPORTANT:You’ll get a monthly statement that tells you how much Universal Credit you’re going to get. You can access this on your UC journal.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m not sure I will cope with Universal Credit being paid monthly – is there an alternative?

Universal Credit will usually be paid monthly and in arrears.

It is best to start thinking now about how you would manage if the benefits Universal Credit is replacing were paid to you on a monthly basis. (These benefits are Income Support, Income Based JSA, Income Related Employment & Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit.) At the point you move onto Universal Credit, if you think you are going to struggle with monthly payments explain this to the Work Coach at the Job Centre who will decide whether you could be paid under an “alternative payment arrangement”. This can be where your monthly award can be split into two payments and paid twice monthly (which is almost the same as fortnightly). You will need to explain your circumstances and why you believe you will find monthly payments difficult to manage. You don’t have a right to alternative payment arrangements – it’s up to the DWP – and they will only be paid for a limited time.