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 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.

Budgeting Advance

You might be able to get a Budgeting Advance to help with:

  • emergency household costs such as replacing a broken cooker
  • getting a job or staying in work
  • funeral costs

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.

Eligibility

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.

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:

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 be able to get other payments too.

The support you could get might be different in Scotland or Wales.

Help with housing costs and bills

You might be able to get:

Help if you’re pregnant or have a child

You might be able to get:

You might be able to get:

Help with other costs

You might be able to get:

Advice on money and debt

You can get help and advice from:

  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 Attend your interview

  5. Step 4 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. You are currently viewing: Check if you can get any other financial support
  6. Step 5 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
  7. Step 6 Follow your agreement and report any change of circumstances

    You must keep to the Claimant Commitment you agreed at your interview. If you do not, your payments could stop.

    You must also 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