Universal Credit UK: Why some claimants will get their payment early next week

Universal Credit claims have soared in recent weeks, with more than one and a half million claims having been made during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in the UK. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed the figures today, while speaking in the House of Commons.


  • Universal Credit: How to apply during coronavirus crisis

The payment is intended to help with living costs, and it is paid once a month, although the rules may differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

However, claimants will need to be aware that it usually takes around five weeks to get the first payment.

This time is made up of a one month assessment period, and up to seven days for the payment to reach the account.

Those who need help with living costs during this time may be able to apply for an advance.

That said, it’s crucial that these people are aware that the advance must be paid back, starting out of the first payment.

Recipients can choose how many months they pay the advance back over, however currently, it must be paid back within 12 months.

Despite calls to make these advance payments to be paid as grants during the coronavirus crisis, the Government has said that delivering this is not possible under the current computer system.

After the first payment, claimants will be paid on the same date of every month – although this can be more frequent for those living in Scotland.

That said, if the payment date falls on a weekend, they’ll be paid on the working day prior.

Furthermore, if it falls on a bank holiday, the same procedure applies.

Friday May 8, which falls next week, marks the Early May bank holiday (VE day).

This means that those expecting their payment on May 8 should receive it a day earlier, on Thursday May 7.


  • Universal Credit: How to receive extra support when self-employed

Should the payment have been due on the weekend of May 9 and May 10, then the Universal Credit is expected to instead be made on the first working day prior – on Thursday May 7.

Universal Credit is replacing six benefits, known as legacy benefits.

These are:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit.

Those who are currently receiving any of these legacy benefits are advised that they do not need to do anything, unless one of two exceptions applies.

This includes if a person has a change of circumstances that they need to report.

The other exception is if the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacts them about moving to Universal Credit.

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