Financial help and support

If you need financial support, you can get help and advice from the government, local councils and other organisations.

If you get Universal Credit, you could be eligible for other benefits or financial support. You should check what you can get.

You might be able to get different support in Scotland.

If you need money urgently

If you do not have enough to live on while you wait for your first Universal Credit payment, you can ask for an advance payment after you’ve made a claim.

If you got a sanction and now cannot pay for rent, heating, or food, you can also ask for a hardship payment. You should check if you are eligible.

You will need to pay this back. Your Universal Credit payments will be lower until it’s repaid.

How to get an advance in an emergency

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

What you get will depend on how much you need.

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


To get a Budgeting Advance, you’ll need to either:

  • have been getting Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or State Pension Credit for 6 months or more
  • need the money to help you start a new job or stay in work

You will not be eligible if either:

  • you’ve earned more than £2,600 (£3,600 together for couples) in the past 6 months
  • you’ve not paid off any previous Budgeting Advance loans (you can only have one at a time)

How to apply

To apply, you can do any of the following:

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

How to change your monthly Universal Credit

If you’re having financial difficulties or you’re behind on your rent, you can ask to change the way your Universal Credit is paid.

You or your landlord may be able to apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA).

Financial help for unexpected job expenses

When you’re working or starting work, you may have to pay for something that you were not expecting, for example, a uniform or equipment.

If your employer does not pay for something, you should speak to your work coach. They can tell you if you can get the money upfront or claim it back.

Advice on money and debt

If you need help to manage your budget or bills, you can get free advice.

You can get help to take care of your living costs including support with your utility bills, housing costs or NHS prescriptions.