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Budgeting advance

You may be entitled to a budgeting advance to help with unexpected costs such as buying household items, funeral expenses, help with rent in advance or removal costs to secure accommodation, or for help getting a job or staying in work. 


To get a budgeting advance you must have been receiving Universal Credit or a qualifying benefit for 6 months or more; unless you need the money to help you start a new job or keep an existing job.

The qualifying benefits that count to the 6 months are as follows:

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Income Support (IS)

  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA)

  • Housing Benefit (HB)

  • State Pension Credit (SPC)

When deciding if you're eligible, Universal Credit will also look at savings, access to other money and 'affordability'.

Note: Affordability is not about your own personal budgeting, it's based on UC only being able to deduct a certain amount per month for advances. This amount is equal to 25% of your standard allowance.

In addition, you must not:

  • already owe for a budgeting advance

  • have earned more than £2,600 (for a single claimant) or £3,600 (for a couple) in the last 6 assessment periods

Note: Earnings include: Wages, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay and Maternity Allowance (MA).

What you'll receive

The smallest amount you can borrow for a budgeting advance is £100. You can get: 

  • Up to £348 if you're single

  • Up to £464 if you're on a joint claim

  • Up to £812 if you have dependant children on your Universal Credit claim


How to apply

To apply for a budgeting advance you must call Universal Credit on 0800 328 5644.

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