To claim any of the below, speak to your Job Centre Plus work coach or contact the Universal Credit free phone helpline on 0800 328 5644
Universal Credit Advance payment
It usually takes 5 weeks to receive your first Universal Credit payment. If you need help with money during this time, you might be able to get an advance on your first payment. This is a loan which will be paid back automatically across a 12 month period, the money will be deducted each month from your Universal Credit payment. The Department of Work and Pensions will be able to tell you whether you can get an advanced payment on the same day that you apply.
Alternative Payment Arrangement
If you are having difficulties managing your Universal Credit payments, you might be able to get an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA). There are 3 types of alternative payments which you can request:
- direct payment of rent to landlords (known as managed payments)
- splitting of payment between a couple
- more frequent payment of benefit
A Budgeting Advance is a loan that helps with emergency costs, such as replacing a broken cooker, paying for travel costs if you are starting a new job or staying in work. You will repay it through deductions to your Universal Credit payments. Visit the governments universal credit website for more information about eligibility and how to apply.
Receiving Universal Credit and need advice?
We know many people are concerned about Universal Credit changes and we're here to support you.
If you are a council tenant claiming Universal Credit and are worried about paying your rent, speak to your Rent Officer first on 020 7974 4444.
Alternatively, you can contact Citizens Advice Camden, who we are working with to support residents:
- if you are already claiming Universal Credit, phone the Universal Credit SmartMoney helpline by calling 0300 303 0308 (Tuesday 2 to 6pm and Thursday 1 to 4pm)
- get advice about moving to Universal Credit and other benefit advice by calling 0300 330 1157 (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm)
- drop in for advice
Once you claim Universal Credit you will need to manage your claim online, information about your payment, reporting changes of circumstance and communicating with your work coach can be done online via your Universal Credit account. If you would like to learn more about accessing the internet and gaining new skills visit the Camden Adult Community Learning page. They offer drop–in sessions, workshops and courses on a host of subjects including computing and internet skills. These skills will help you increase your confidence about accessing your Universal Credit account.
You can also use the Money Manager tool to make the most of your Universal Credit, and visit our recommended money and benefit resources for further help and support.