Universal Credit

When you will get paid

Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, but this does not mean that you will get your first payment a month after making your claim.

When you make a new claim for Universal Credit, the date you claim is called your assessment date. This is the date your payment will be calculated every month. You will be able to see how much your monthly payment is going to be in your online journal.

You will need to wait for up to seven days from your assessment date for your Universal Credit to reach your bank, building society or credit union account.

This means you could be waiting for up to 38 days for your first Universal Credit payment even if there are no problems or assessment delays with your claim.

Your payment may be delayed if you have not given the DWP all the information needed to assess your claim, including the amount of your rent.

If you have not got enough money to live on while you wait for your first payment, you can ask the DWP for an advance payment. You will have to pay any advance payment back in instalments, usually within twelve months.

An advance payment can give you up to the amount of your expected Universal Credit award, and your future monthly payments will be reduced while you pay the advance back.

You can ask for an advance payment at any time from the day you claim until three working days before your assessment date.

Other help may be available while you are waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, depending on your circumstances:

  • emergency help with food, household necessities and utility costs if you are working with an advice service to manage your money
  • a loan from Oxfordshire Credit Union, if you have been saving for at least three months. You may also be able to get a loan if you have joined the credit union through your employer’s payroll or take out a Child Benefit loan
  • food parcels from the Community Emergency Foodbank. You will need to have access to cooking facilities and you will also need a food bank voucher from a referral agency
  • free or cheap food may be available – see our Food Access map and database for more information
  • avoid loan sharks and payday loans. Loan sharking is illegal and dangerous, and borrowing from a loan shark or taking out a payday loan is an extremely expensive type of credit.

Once your Universal Credit is in payment, you can apply for a discretionary housing payment if your Universal Credit includes help with housing costs and you are struggling to pay your rent.

Where to get more information

You can download our You've claimed Universal Credit - what happens next? leaflet.