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 an amount for housing, which you’ll usually need to pay 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 help with your living costs while you wait for your first payment, you can apply for an advance.

The wait before your first payment is made up of a one month assessment period and up to 7 days for the payment to reach your account.

Example

You make a new Universal Credit claim on 1 September.

Your first assessment period runs for one month to 30 September, with a new assessment period beginning on 1 October.

You get paid on 7 October and on the 7th 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, you’ll be paid on the working day before.

You’ll get a monthly statement that tells you how much Universal Credit you’re going to get.

Call the helpline straight away if your payment does not arrive on time.

Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 328 5644
British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service if you’re on a computer - find out how to use the service on mobile or tablet
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

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 to 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.

Example

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.

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

How often you’re paid can affect your Universal Credit

If you’re paid once a month on the same date and nothing changes in your earnings, then your Universal Credit amount should stay the same.

Your Universal Credit can be affected if you receive no wages or more than one set of wages during some assessment periods. This could happen if:

  • you’re paid weekly, every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks
  • your monthly payment date changes, for example you get paid on the last working day of each month

If your monthly payment date changes

You’ll need to sign into your online account to check how much your next monthly payment will be. If it looks like you’ll get paid too much or too little Universal Credit, ask your work coach to move your wages into another assessment period.

If you’re paid weekly, every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks

You’ll be told if your earnings are too high and whether you’ll need to reapply to continue to get Universal Credit.

How often you’re paid by your employer The impact
Every 4 weeks Once a year, you’ll get 2 sets of wages in one assessment period
Every 2 weeks Twice a year, you’ll get 3 sets of wages in one assessment period
Every week Four times a year, you’ll get 5 sets of wages in one assessment period