Getting Paid

CORONAVIRUS:
NEW CLAIM: If you cannot wait until you receive your first Universal Credit payment you can apply for an Advance Payment. See Can I get an Advance Payment? for more information.
ON-GOING CLAIM: If your Universal Credit is due to an increase because you have lost your job or seen a drop in your income you can apply for a Changes in Circumstance Advance. See Need extra financial help? for more information.

You’ll usually get a single Universal Credit payment every month. This will be paid directly into the account you chose when you made your claim. This could be your bank, building society or credit union account, or a Post Office card account.

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.

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.
See Can I get an Advance Payment? for more information.

Example:
Mumtaz makes his claim for Universal Credit on 16th June. He completes all the steps to make a successful claim. Therefore his Assessments Periods are set as starting on 16th of every month, and ending on 15th of every month.
The DWP will work out his award at the end of each Assessment Period, and then pay him up to 7 days later.
So they assess his award on 15th July and his bank account is credited with this on 22nd July.

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.

You’ll be able to view your payment details in your online Universal Credit account.

Example:
Mumtaz’s Universal Credit award will be assessed on 15th of every month and a payment issued.
This payment will be credited on his bank account 7 days later ie on 22nd of each month – unless that is a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday – when it will be credited on the first working day before this.
So as 22nd August is a Saturday, his bank account will be credited with his UC award on Friday 21st August.

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.
See Alternative Payment Arrangements for more information.

Example:
Anita is making a claim for Universal Credit after separating from her partner. She has poor numeracy skills and does not think she will be able to manage working out a monthly budget.
She explains this to her Work Coach who agrees to a Alternative Payment Arrangement of her Universal Credit being paid to her in smaller amounts – twice monthly.

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.

If you think you may struggle to pay you rent yourself then you can ask your work coach about Alternative Payment Arrangements – they may agree to pay some of your Universal Credit award directly to your landlord.
See Alternative Payment Arrangements for more information.

Example:
Faith is moving out from her parent’s house and into a one bedroom flat. She’s been getting Universal Credit since leaving college last year.
As long as she notifies the DWP of her change in circumstances and provides information about her landlord and her rent, then her Universal Credit award will increase as a Housing Costs Element will be included.
Faith’s monthly rent is £600, but her Universal Credit only increases by £560. Faith is responsible for making sure the full £600 is paid to her landlord.

Payment to couples

If you are a couple claiming Universal Credit, you will receive one monthly payment.

This will be paid into the account you chose when you made your claim.

In exceptional circumstances a Universal Credit payment can be divided between 2 members of a household. This is known as a split payment. Contact a Benefits Adviser or talk to your Work Coach to find out more.
See Alternative Payment Arrangements for more information.

If you think your payment is wrong

If you think your payment is wrong you should call the Universal Credit helpline or ask for an explanation using your online account if you have one.

You should do this if:

  • Your payment is less than you expected and you haven’t been told why.
  • You think there’s been a mistake with how your Universal Credit has been worked out.

If you are still not happy after receiving an explanation then you can request a ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’. Do this on your UC journal. Provide any evidence you have, this could be, for example:

  • Your tenancy agreement – if you think your housing costs are wrong.
  • Payslips or bank statements – if there’s been an error in your earnings (ask your employer for payslips if you don’t have them).
  • Childcare bills – if they have your childcare costs wrong.

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 account.