Financial Help

Table of Contents

Do you need financial help to cover basic costs of living? You might be able to get financial help from the government and/or your local council.

The financial help you’re eligible to receive is subject to your personal circumstances.

I don’t have enough money until my first Universal Credit payment

If you’re waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, you may be able to get a Universal Credit Advance Payment.

This payment is a loan so you’ll have to pay it back from your future Universal Credit payments.

I don’t have enough money until my Universal Credit payment increase

Have you had a change in circumstances and your Universal Credit payment is going to increase? You can also apply for a Universal Credit Advance Payment to help with living costs until you start receiving your increased Universal Credit payments.

This is an Advance loan so you’ll have to pay back any extra money you receive from future Universal Credit payments.

How much money will you get with a Universal Credit Advance Payment?

If you’re eligible for an Advance loan, you may get up to 100% of your Universal Credit payment.

How to apply for an Universal Credit Advance Payment

There are two ways you can apply for Universal Credit Advance Payment:

  • Apply online using your Universal Credit online account
  • Speak to your work coach at your local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs & Benefits office

I'm already claiming Universal Credit but I don't have enough money to cover emergency costs

If you already claim Universal Credit, you may be able to get a Budgeting Advance loan. You should apply for a Budgeting Advance loan if you need help to help pay emergency household costs. Or, to help you support you to get a job or to help you stay in work.
You’re only eligible to get one Budgeting Advance loan at a time. Even for Universal Credit joint claims.

What can I apply for a Budgeting Loan for?

You can apply for a Budgeting Advance loan to help pay for:
  • Essential household items. This includes things like; furniture, household appliance, clothing and footwear
  • Things you need to help stay in work or get a job. This includes things like; work clothes, tools, childcare costs, travel expenses
  • A rent advance
  • Financial help to move, for example; removal expenses
  • Household maintenance, improvements and improved security measures

I need money to help pay for basic needs and living costs

The Household Support Fund is available to help pay for basic living costs, example; energy costs, food bill and water bills, and other household essentials

The Household Support Fund is available to anyone struggling to meet the cost of living. You don’t have to be in receipt of Universal Credit or any other benefits payments.

To apply for the Household Support Fund, contact your local council. 

My Universal Credit has been sanctioned and I don't have enough money for basic living costs

If your Universal Credit payments have been sanctioned and you can’t afford essential household expenses like food and bills you should apply for a Harship Payment. A Hardship Payment is an emergency payment to help pay for the basic costs of living.

If your Universal Credit has been cut because of a sanction or a penalty for fraud, apply for a Hardship Payment to get some emergency money.

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