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Universal Credit payments
How much Universal Credit will be paid?
Entitlement depends on individual circumstances such as:
- family circumstances
- disabilities, or if carers benefits are being paid
- the amount of rent charged
Universal Credit can be paid if you are in or out of work, as long as you are still entitled. The actual amount will change as income changes.
How is Universal Credit paid?
Universal Credit is paid calendar monthly in arrears and into a bank account. It helps if the bank account allows for direct debits and standing orders to be set up so bills such as rent can be paid from it.
For further information on bank accounts, visit the Money Advice Service.
For couples, it will be claimed by one person and usually paid to that person. Split payments can be requested, such as part of the payment to a partner, more regular payments or housing costs paid to a landlord - these are called Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA).
These are usually paid for a temporary period, while you get help to manage your Universal Credit payments.
This is called Personal Budgeting Support and in North Tyneside it will be provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau. They will be able to give independent help with monthly budgeting, debt advice and help with opening a bank account.
You will need to talk to your Work Coach for this to be put in place, and will need to take up the help offered to manage your payments longer term.
Your first payment
You will normally have to wait around 5 to 6 weeks for your first Universal Credit payment then after that you should receive it every calendar month.
You can ask for a Universal Credit advance while waiting for your first payment - you will need to ask the Jobcentre for this.
They will decide how much you can get. The maximum would be up to half of your due Universal Credit Payment. This would be paid back from future Universal Credit payments over 6 months.
If you have been on Universal Credit for 6 months you can also claim a budgeting advance from the Jobcentre to meet expenses such as household equipment.
To get advice on advance payments contact:
Universal Credit Service Centre
Telephone: 0345 600 0723.
Advance payments are discretionary and don’t carry a right of appeal but you can ask for reconsideration if you are unhappy with the decision.
Help with rent payments
The housing element of Universal Credit, which replaces Housing Benefit, will be paid direct to you as part of the Universal Credit monthly payment.
You will no longer make a claim to the council for help towards your rent, although you will still need to claim Council Tax Support from the Council for help towards your Council Tax.
Paying housing costs direct to a landlord
There are a number of reasons a landlord can request that housing costs are paid to them, for example, if they believe the claimant has learning difficulties, drug or alcohol problems, or they have consistently failed to pay their rent in the past.