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 or a bank holiday you’ll usually 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.

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 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

This means your earnings might be too high for Universal Credit. You’ll be told if they are 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
  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

  2. Step 2 Create an account and make a claim

    You need an online account to claim Universal Credit.

    1. Set up an account and make a claim

    You must submit your claim within 28 days of creating your account.

    If you live with your partner, they will also need to set up an account. You'll be given a code to link the accounts together.

  3. and Find out how your claim is assessed

    You'll need to have an interview with Jobcentre Plus. You'll be told how to arrange this after you submit your claim. It will be within 10 working days.

    If you have a disability or health condition you may need a work capability assessment. You'll be told if you need one after you claim.

    1. What to do if you have a health condition or disability
  4. Step 3 Apply for an advance on your first payment

    If you need help with bills or other costs while you wait for your first payment, you can apply to get an advance.

    1. Get an advance on your first Universal Credit payment
    2. Check if you can get any other financial support
  5. Step 4 Get your first payment

    You’ll get your first payment 5 weeks after you claim. Your account will be updated to tell you how much it will be.

    1. What to do if you disagree with the decision
  6. Step 5 Report any change of circumstances

    You must update your account if your circumstances change to get the right payment.

    1. How to report a change in circumstances
    2. What to do if your payments are stopped