Good morning

If your tenant claims Universal Credit, they will not be paid any money until 5 weeks after they submit their claim, and will be paid monthly thereafter.

They can ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit if they’re in financial hardship while they wait for their first payment, for example, if they can’t afford to pay your rent or buy food.

They will need to pay back the advance time ftheir ongoing Universal Credit payments, or by other means, if they no longer receive Universal Credit. For example, from earnings or other state benefits they may be receiving.

How to apply for a Universal Credit advance

Tenants can ask for a Universal Credit advance:

  • as soon as they make their claim for Universal Credit
  • before they  receive their first payment
  • if they are already being paid Universal Credit and have told DWP of a change in their circumstances that means they will be paid more Universal Credit but have not yet been paid the increased amount

To apply for a Universal Credit advance tenants can:

  • speak to their Jobcentre Plus work coach
  • apply through their online account
  • call the Universal Credit helpline


Universal Credit helplineTelephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

To do so, have them apply using their online account and by clicking the ‘apply for an advance’ section.

When they apply for an advance online the amount they can borrow will be shown on screen. If they’re part of a couple they will also be asked if their partner agrees to taking the advance.

If they apply for an advance by speaking to their work coach or through calling the Universal Credit helpline, the tenant (and partner if they have one) will need to:

  • explain why they need an advance
  • provide bank account details where the advance should be paid
  • have had their identity checked
  • DWP will usually let them know on the same day.

How much you can get

Up to 100% of their estimated Universal Credit payment.

They will need to repay an advance from ongoing Universal Credit payments or by other means if theyno longer get Universal Credit.

Cost of repayments

The Universal Credit helpline adviser assesses whether they can afford to repay the advance. If they agree to the advance, they will tell the tenant over the phone:

  • how much they can have
  • the monthly repayment amounts
  • when the first repayment is due

How the advance is repaid

Deductions are made from their monthly Universal Credit payment. The first deduction is made on the day you get your first payment and thereafter they’ll have up to 12 months to pay back the advance.

They can ask for your repayments to be delayed for up to 3 months if they later can’t afford them. This is only allowed in exceptional circumstances.

If they are refused an advance

They might be refused an advance if they:

  • have enough money to last until their payment of Universal Credit
  • live with parents, relatives or friends
  • have any final earnings or redundancy payments
  • have any accessible savings

They can ask for the decision to be reconsidered but do not have a right to appeal.

If you no longer get Universal Credit and have not paid back your advance

They will need to continue to pay back the advance, even if they stop getting Universal Credit.

If they move from Universal Credit to another benefit the deductions will usually continue from their payments until the advance is paid off.

If they move off benefits they will receive a letter telling you how much they owe. The letter will ask them to contact DWP Debt Management Contact Centre to arrange repayment.

If they don’t make payment arrangements, the DWP can recover the amount they owe by either:

  • contacting their employer (where they have one) to arrange for deductions to be made from earnings
  • asking an independent debt collection agency to collect this money on their behalf

DWP Debt Management contact centre

Telephone: 0800 916 0647
Textphone: 0800 916 0651

Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm
Saturday, 9am to 4pm