New claim advance
Your first payment from Universal Credit is usually one month and seven days after you claim. During this time you're able to apply for a new claim advance to tide you over and help cover rent, bills, food and essentials.
How to apply
A new claim advance is only available during the first month of your claim and unavailable in the seven days before your first payment.
There are 3 ways to apply:
Online, via your Universal Credit account under the option 'advances'
At your initial work coach appointment (note these face-to-face meetings have been suspended during the Covid-19 outbreak)
By telephone on 0800 328 5644
You will not be able to apply until you have verified your identity with Universal Credit and if you are subject to Habitual Residence Test (HRT), a decision must be made on this before any advances are available.
When applying for an advance, you will be asked to accept repayment terms which specify the monthly repayments that will be taken from your future Universal Credit award. Payments can be spread over a period of 24 months. If you are part of a joint claim, both claimants will need to agree to the advance terms.
If you are refused an advance
You may be refused an advance if you:
have enough money to last until your first Universal Credit payment.
live with parents, relatives or friends.
have any final earnings or redundancy payments due.
have any accessible savings.
You can request the decision to be reconsidered but you do not have a right to appeal.
How much will my new claim advance be?
The idea of advances is based on your full entitlement to Universal Credit (before deductions for wages, overlapping benefits or debt), but this isn't always the case. As the amount Universal Credit can deduct in repayments is capped, there is a limit to what can be offered for an advance. In addition, advances can vary as on occasion some elements may take longer to clear than others and aren't verified until your initial assessment period is over.
Maximum advance amounts
Regardless of your circumstances, the UC system will never allow more than these amounts as a new claim advance.
Single claim, under 25: £1543.98
Single claim, over 25: £1949.04
Joint claim, under 25: £2423.58
Joint claim, over 25: £3059.46
Note: These are the maximum advance amounts possible, most people will be offered much less as it is based upon your household circumstances.