How you're paid

Universal Credit is paid once a month, usually into your bank, building society or credit union account.

Your payment can include money for your rent or other housing costs. You’ll usually need to pay this to your landlord.

If you’re not able to open a bank, building society or credit union account, call the Universal Credit helpline to arrange a different way of getting paid.

Find out how you’ll be paid if you’re in Northern Ireland.

Your first payment

It usually takes around 5 weeks to get your first payment. If you need money while you wait for your first payment, you can apply for an advance.

Your monthly assessment periods

Universal Credit is calculated based on your circumstances each month. These are called your ‘assessment periods’. You’ll  usually get your Universal Credit payment 7 days after each monthly assessment period ends.

Changes in your circumstances can affect how much you’re paid for your assessment period. You should report a change of circumstances to get the correct payment.

Your first assessment period starts the day you make a claim.


Sam makes a new Universal Credit claim on 10 September.

Sam’s first assessment period runs for one month to 9 October, with a new assessment period beginning on 10 October.

They get paid on 17 October and then on the 17th of each month after that.​

Payment dates

After the first payment, you’ll be paid on the same date of every month.

If your payment date is on a weekend or a bank holiday, you’ll be paid on the working day before.

You can see your monthly statement in your online account. This tells you how much Universal Credit you’re going to get.

If you live in Scotland

You can get paid once or twice a month.

If you’re making a new claim, you’ll get a notification about how often you want to be paid. You get this after your first payment.

If you’re already getting Universal Credit and have not had a notification, you can ask your work coach if you can be paid twice a month.

When you’re paid twice a month your first payment will be for a full month. You’ll get the first half of your second month’s payment a month after this. The second half will be paid 15 days later. This means there will be about a month and a half between your first payment and the full amount for your second month.

After this, you’ll be paid twice a month.


You get your first payment on 14 December. This payment is for a full month.

If you’re paid twice a month, you get half of your second payment on 14 January and the other half on 29 January.

You get paid on the 14th and 29th of each month after that.

If you live with a partner

If you both claim Universal Credit, you’ll get one payment each month for your household.

If you live in Scotland and you’ve chosen to be paid twice monthly, you’ll receive 2 payments each month for your household.

Call the Universal Credit helpline if you’re worried about getting access to this money.

Ask to change how you’re paid

You can ask to have your Universal Credit paid differently if you need help managing a single monthly payment. This is called an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA). Having an APA could mean:

  • your rent is paid directly to your landlord
  • you receive payments twice a month instead of once a month
  • you arrange to get a separate payment from your partner

You should contact Universal Credit after you’ve made a claim to ask for an APA. They’ll decide whether you should have an APA based on your circumstances.

You’re more likely to get an APA if you have things like:

  • unpaid rent (also known as being in ‘rent arrears’)
  • addiction problems
  • mental health issues
  • learning difficulties
  • experience of homelessness
  • experience of domestic abuse