Universal Credit claimants can get over £800 for emergency household costs – rules defined

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Universal Credit payments are tailored to a claimant’s circumstances and should cover essential costs such as rent and childcare. On top of this, additional payments can be awarded for certain emergency costs.

Those who have to deal with emergency costs such as repairing broken cookers, getting a job or staying in work or paying funeral costs may be eligible for budgeting advances.

These budgeting advances will be a one off payment which will need to be repaid through regular Universal Credit payments, which will be lower until the debt is repaid.

It should be noted that the debt will need to be repaid even if the claimant stops getting Universal Credit.

The smallest amount a person could borrow is £100.

It is possible to get up to:

  • £348 if the claimant is single
  • £464 if they’re part of a couple
  • £812 if they have children

What will be awarded will be dependent on whether the claimant has savings of over £1,000 and can pay the loan back.

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To be eligible for a budgeting advance, all of the following must apply:

  • The claimant has been getting Universal Credit, employment and support allowance, income support, jobseeker’s allowance or state pension credit for six months or more, unless they need the money to help them start a new job or stay in work
  • They’ve earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 together for couple) over the past six months
  • They’ve paid off any previous budgeting advance loans

To apply for a budgeting advance, claimants will need to contact their local Jobcentre Plus work coach for assistance.

To be eligible for Universal Credit initially a person must be on a low income or out of work entirely.

On top of this, claimants must be aged between 18 and state pension age, have less than £16,000 in savings and be living in the UK.

So long as a claimant is eligible, they’ll receive income tailored to their circumstances but all claimants will receive between £342.72 and £594.04 as a minimum.

Universal Credit can take up to five weeks to be paid once an initial claim is made.

Beyond this Universal Credit will be paid once a month, usually into a bank, building society or credit union account.

After the initial payment, claimants will be paid on the same date of every month.

Claims for Universal Credit are made online and there are free services available to help people through this process.

Do you have a money dilemma which you’d like a financial expert’s opinion on? If you would like to ask one of our finance experts a question, please email your query to personal.finance@reachplc.com. 

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