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Universal Credit payments are based on individual circumstances, with the amounts varied by elements such as childcare costs and housing bills. These amounts can also be altered by income levels but there are standard allowances in place which all claimants will receive as a minimum.
These monthly standard allowances are based on age and relationship status, as detailed below:
- Single and under 25 – £342.72 per month
- Single and 25 or over £409.89 per month
- In a couple and both are under 25 – £488.59 per month for both
- In a couple and either are 25 or over – £594.04 per month or both
On top of this, some claimant may also be able to get a budgeting advance to help with certain emergency costs.
These costs can include household goods replacements (for example, replacing a broken cooker), getting a job or staying in work or funeral costs.
This advance will need to be repaid through regular Universal Credit payments down the line.
This means that future Universal Credit payments will be lower until it is fully repaid.
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Additionally, the advance will still need to be paid off if the claimant comes off Universal Credit.
The smallest amount that a person can borrow is £100.
Single claimants can get up to £348 and claimants in a couple can get £464.
Claimants with children could receive the highest advance, with £812 being available.
To be eligible or a budgeting advance, 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 you need the money to help you start a new job or stay in work
- They’ve earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 together for couples) in the past six months
- They’ve paid off any previous Budgeting Advance loans
When the repayments start for these advances the claimant will have 12 months to repay the full amount.
If the claimant moves off state benefits they will receive a letter telling them how much is owed in total.
This letter will ask them to contact the DWP Debt Management Contact Centre to arrange alternative repayment plans.
This letter should not be ignored because the DWP has powers to contact employers and seek repayments directly from them or they could involve independent debt collection agencies.
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