Universal Credit Budgeting Advance Helpline

budgeting advance helpline

Universal Credit claimants who are waiting for their first payment may qualify for a budgeting advance. These discretionary and repayable loans start at PS100.

Repayment for these loans takes place through deductions from future universal credit payments and usually takes 12 months, though can extend up to 18 months in exceptional circumstances.

What is a budgeting advance?

If you are a Universal Credit claimant struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, you could be eligible for a budgeting advance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This is an interest-free loan from the DWP that can help cover essential household expenses in short term.

Money can be used for many things, and you don’t have to specify what or how much you need. It could cover unexpected and essential expenses like funeral costs, rent in advance or removal fees to secure accommodation and the costs of finding or maintaining a job (if applicable).

Your budgeting advance will be repaid through deductions from your Universal Credit payments over 12 months. In certain exceptional circumstances, however, you may request a reduction in payments.

How do I apply for a budgeting advance?

Universal Credit claimants waiting for their first payments can apply for a budgeting advance, an interest-free loan to cover some essential expenses. It’s typically a short-term solution and repayments are taken directly from the claimant’s Universal Credit.

Applying for a budgeting advance is simple – simply complete the application form, which is available both online and on paper, then send it via postal service to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Your work coach will need to review all details with you prior to receiving any funds.

It’s a quick and straightforward process, with funds arriving in your account within three days. However, it’s essential that you only use the money for necessary expenses and not for frivolous purchases.

Your Universal Credit payments will be reduced until the budgeting advance is repaid in full within 12 months, and DWP can take part of your Universal Credit to cover any unpaid costs.

Who can apply for a budgeting advance?

Universal Credit (UC) claimants who need money for an unexpected expense can apply for a budgeting advance. Usually, they’re granted a loan of PS100 which could be put towards buying something like a new cooker or covering work-related costs like attending an interview.

The amount of a budgeting advance you receive depends on both your ability to repay it and how much savings you have. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reduces your loan by PS1 for every PS1,000 in savings over PS1,000; however, they cannot grant an advance if there is more than this amount saved.

Apply for a budgeting advance by calling your local Jobcentre Plus. They will review your application over the phone, and usually give you an immediate decision.