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.