Frequently asked questions

Here you'll find the answer to a number of Universal Credit-related question.

 

My payment is due on the weekend (or on a bank holiday), when will I receive it?

When payments are due to be paid on a weekend or bank holiday, they will be paid on the last working day before the payment is due, but make sure your statement is showing.

When will I get my statement?

Your statement can show any time from the day after your assessment period ends. If it is not showing two days before your UC payment is due, it's advisable to contact Universal Credit to check nothing is blocking your payment.

Why isn't my statement showing?

Your statement can show anytime after your assessment period ends. If your assessment period has ended and it is not showing there could be various reasons for this (payment blocker). If it is not showing 2 working days before your payment is due, get in touch with UC. 

Will my statement show at the weekend?

It could if it is automatically generated by the system the day after your assessment period (usually between 4am and 6am). If your statement needs a staff member to act on it manually then this would usually be done during office hours but could be weekend if someone is working on your claim.

Can I pay off my advance early?

You can pay off an advance or part of an advance by lump sum. You call DWP Debt Management 0800-916-0647 to do this but paying off an advance does not guarantee another one.

How much rent will UC pay?

Your housing element will be based on your particular circumstances and whether you live rent privately or with a social housing provider. You can read further info on private renting or social housing.

Will they stop my housing element if I start work?

They will not stop your housing element. All your elements remain in place. 

They will make a deduction to your total UC amount depending on what you earn. This could mean your UC amount is less than your housing element but this entirely depends on circumstances. You can read further info on working on UC.

How long does a decision take? 

There is no timescale. Often staff make reference to 28 days or a month but unfortunately decisions can take longer than this. If you are vulnerable or the decision is causing you hardship then make sure UC know this and ask for it to be escalated. 

I haven't been paid, what do I do?

Check to see if your statement has been generated first. If it has and it shows zero payment due then look at your statement for errors. You may want to ask for help in our community. 

If your statement has not been generated then get in touch with UC as soon as possible - 0800 328 5644.

How do I change my bank details?

You only need to report if your sort code and account number change. You do this on your online account (Homepage|Report a change|Bank account). You may need to take part in a follow up appointment to confirm details.

How do I report a change in savings or capital?

You can now do this on your online account. Homepage|Report a change|Savings, investment and other capital. It is helpful to learn yourself how your savings or capital should be treated. We have info on this here.

Will my LCWRA be backdated?

If you are new to work capability, an award for LCWRA will be backdated to when you first reported your health condition and submitted fit notes but payment cannot be included until three full assessment periods after you reported and evidenced your fit note. 

My repayments are too high / Can I lower my repayments?

Your advances cannot be lowered but you can ask for them to be deferred if they are causing you hardship. You would ask UC if they will do this for you but make sure you agree lower repayments for any other debts, otherwise they may take more.
If money is being deducted for benefit overpayments, you can ask DWP Debt Management if they will agree to lower it. You can call them on
0800 916 0647.

If money is being deducted for rent arrears at 20% of your standard allowance, you can ask UC if they would consider lowering this to 10% of your standard allowance instead.
More information on debt deductions.

How do I change my claim to single?

You can do this on your online account. You should do this immediately to ensure correct payments. Homepage|Report a change|Living with a partner. Your partner will be notified and need to take action on their account if they wish to continue claiming.

How do I join claims / make a joint claim?

You do this on your online account. Homepage|Report a change|Living with a partner. Make sure you establish who is getting the linking code and who is using the linking code.

How much can I earn in wages before UC start deductions?

Each claim has a work allowance, dependent on circumstances. A work allowance is the amount in earnings, before deductions to your UC payment are applied.
If you have a child or LCW and housing element (or housing benefit), your work allowance is £293 per assessment period.

If you have a child or LCW and do not get housing element (or housing benefit), your work allowance is £515 per assessment period.
If you do not have a child or LCW, regardless of housing situation, your work allowance will be £0.

Any earnings above your work allowance will cause a deduction of 63p per £.

There is only one work allowance for joint claim and earnings are combined.

You can read more about working on UC.

Do I need to tell UC about my PIP/DLA/AA?

Although being in receipt of PIP /DLA/AA does not entitle you to work capability element (LCW/LCWRA), unless you are a pensioner, it is always worth letting UC know you have been awarded as may affect your UC in other ways.

  • It removes the benefit cap.

  • If you are single and under 35 in private rental you would get the one bedroom rate instead of shared accommodation rate.

  • If you live with a partner and are unable to share a bedroom due to disability (and rent), it may entitle you to extra bedroom entitlement.

  • If you have regular, overnight care from someone outside your household (and rent), it may entitle you to extra bedroom entitlement.

  • If you have a non dependent living with you (and rent), it will remove the non dependent deduction from your housing element.

  • Someone can claim as carer for you if they provide care for you 35 hours a week. They would need to meet the eligibility and claim this themselves. A partner can claim as carer if they meet the criteria, this may increase your UC.

If your child has been awarded DLA or PIP, you should also report this as you will be entitled to disabled child element and consider if you will be claiming carer's element (no earnings threshold).

What is a cold weather payment and am I entitled?

A cold weather payment is made if the average temperature in your area is, or is forecast to be 0

degrees Celsius or below for 7 consecutive days. There is a £25 payment for each 7 day period of

very cold weather between 1st November and 31st March.

You will be eligible for a cold weather payment if you get UC and are not employed or self-employed

and you have limited capability for work or if you have a child under 5 on your award.

If you have the disabled child element on your award you will qualify for a cold weather payment even if you are employed.

Does child maintenance affect my Universal Credit?

It does not affect your payment and is disregarded in full. If however you save the child maintenance or receive a lump sum, this will be regarded as capital.

Do I need to report child maintenance?

Child maintenance does not need to be reported to UC. If you are specifically asked about it, you should inform them. It can be helpful if any child maintenance being paid to you by private arrangement is clearly referenced as child maintenance.

My question has not been answered, where can I get help?

You should join our community space. You can either browse as a guest or register and take part in discussions and ask your own questions.