If you normally claim Universal Credit but need to pay for something expensive immediately and don’t have the funds, you could apply for a budgeting advance. Express.co.uk explains the ins and outs of getting a budgeting advance on your Universal Credit.
What is a budgeting advance?
According to the Government’s website, you might be able to get a Budgeting Advance to help with:
• emergency household costs such as replacing a broken cooker
• getting a job or staying in work
• funeral costs
The Citizens Advice site says it could also cover things like:
• a one-off item – e.g. replacing a broken fridge
• work-related expenses – e.g. buying uniform or tools
• unexpected expenses
• repairs to your home
• travel expenses
• maternity expenses
• funeral expenses
• moving costs or rent deposit
• essential items, like clothes
READ MORE- Universal Credit: Budgeting Advances are available
- Universal Credit: How to get advance payment
Who is eligible for a Budgeting Advance?
To get a Budgeting Advance, all of the following must apply:
• you’ve been getting Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or State Pension Credit for 6 months or more, unless you need the money to help you start a new job or stay in work
• you’ve earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 together for couples) in the past 6 months
• you’ve paid off any previous Budgeting Advance loans
You cannot get a Budgeting Advance if you or your partner are still paying off a previous Budgeting Advance.
How do you repay a Budgeting Advance?
You’ll repay it through your regular Universal Credit payments – these will be lower until you pay it back.
Normally you can repay it over 12 months.
If you stop getting Universal Credit, you’ll have to repay the money in another way.
If you have applied for Universal Credit but haven’t had your first payment yet, you should apply for an advance payment instead of a budgeting advance.
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How much can you borrow?
The smallest amount you can borrow is £100.
The maximum amount depends on your circumstances, including whether or not you have over £1,000 and can pay it back.
You can get up to:
• £348 if you’re single
• £464 if you’re part of a couple
• £812 if you have children
How to apply for a Budgeting Advance online
You can’t apply for a Budgeting Advance online. Instead, you must apply over the phone.
The Government asks you to contact your local Jobcentre Plus work coach to apply. You can find the number here. https://find-your-nearest-jobcentre.dwp.gov.uk/search.php
According to Citizens Advice, you normally get a decision on the same day you ring.
Jobcentre Plus will investigate whether you can afford to pay the loan back by checking if you have any debts and if so, how much you owe, to help work this out.
The adviser will also look at how much you have in savings to help them make a decision.
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