You may be able to get an advance on your first benefit payment if you’re in urgent financial need. This is called a ‘short term benefit advance’.

You can apply if you’ve recently applied for:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • State Pension

You’ll be told when you’ll be paid, but it’s usually on the same day or the next working day. It will be paid into your bank or post office account.

How much money you get will depend on your circumstances.

How to apply

Call the right phone number for the benefit you’re claiming. You must tell the adviser about your circumstances and how much you think you need to borrow.

Income support, ESA or JSA
Telephone: 0345 608 8545
Welsh language: 0345 600 3018
Textphone: 0345 608 8551
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Carer’s Allowance
Telephone: 0345 608 4321
Welsh language: 0345 608 4321
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

Pension Credit or State Pension
Telephone: 0345 606 0265
Welsh language: 0345 606 0275
Textphone: 0345 606 0285
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges.

If you can’t use the phone

You can ask to use the phone in your local Jobcentre Plus if you can’t afford to make a phone call.

Ask a Jobcentre Plus adviser to assess you and apply on your behalf if you’re unable to speak on the phone.

Getting another advance

You can ask for another advance straight after receiving one (or being turned down) but only if you can show that your circumstances have changed, eg you need more than you previously thought.

Paying it back

The adviser will tell you how to pay back the advance. Usually a little will be taken from your benefit each week until it’s paid back.

If you’re not happy with a decision

You can ask for a decision to be reconsidered if you’re not happy with it. Say this when you’re told the decision.