Other financial support
If you’re in financial difficulties, you can get help and advice from the government, local councils and other organisations.
Advance and hardship payments
If you do not have enough to live on while you wait for your first payment you can ask for an advance payment at your Universal Credit interview or by calling the helpline after you’ve made a claim.
You can also ask for a hardship payment if you cannot pay for rent, heating, food or hygiene needs because you got a sanction.
You need to pay it back through your Universal Credit payments - they’ll be lower until you pay it back.
Alternative Payment Arrangements
If you’re having financial difficulties or you’re behind on your rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA).
Depending on your circumstances, you could get an APA to:
- get your rent paid directly to your landlord
- get paid more frequently than once a month
- receive split payments, if you’re part of a couple
Speak to your work coach to apply for an APA.
You may be able to get a Budgeting Advance to help with emergency household costs, such as replacing a broken cooker, or for help getting a job or staying in work.
You’ll repay it through your regular Universal Credit payments - these will be lower until you pay it back. If you stop getting Universal Credit, you’ll have to repay the money in another way.
How much you can borrow
The smallest amount you can borrow is £100. You can get up to:
- £348 if you’re single
- £464 if you’re part of a couple
- £812 if you have children
What you get depends on whether you have savings of over £1,000 and can pay the loan back.
To get a Budgeting Advance, all of the following must apply:
- you’ve been getting Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or State Pension Credit for 6 months or more, unless you need the money to help you start a new job or stay in work
- you’ve earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 together for couples) in the past 6 months
- you’ve paid off any previous Budgeting Advance loans
How to apply
Contact your local Jobcentre Plus work coach to apply.
Help with housing costs from your local council
You might be able to get a reduction in your Council Tax.
You may also be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments if your Universal Credit payment is not enough to pay your rent.
Other benefits you can claim
If you want to claim a benefit without your savings, your partner’s savings or their income being taken into account, you can apply for either:
You can apply for these if you’re eligible for Universal Credit.
Use a benefits calculator to find out what other benefits you could get, for example Personal Independence Payment if you’re disabled.
Other financial support you might get
If you receive Universal Credit you may also be able to get:
- BT Basic (or the KCOM Social Access Package for the East Riding or Hull City Council local authority areas) if you have no income
- Cold Weather Payment
- Disabled Facilities Grants
- Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Affordable Warmth
- free early education for 2 year olds
- free school meals
- Funeral Expenses Payment
- Healthy Start vouchers if you’re pregnant or have a child under 4 years old
- help with health costs, including prescriptions and dental treatment
- help with prison visiting costs
- help with the costs of using courts or tribunals
- legal aid
- Sure Start Maternity Grant
- WaterSure to cap your bills if you have a water meter
Advice on money and debt
You can get help and advice from: