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Are you prepared for a five week wait for Universal Credit?

Are you prepared for a five week wait for Universal Credit?

If you make a Universal Credit claim, you will face a five week wait at least before your first payment reaches your account. This is why it’s important to claim as soon as you are entitled to – the sooner you claim, the sooner you’ll receive your first payment.

If you were to face a five week wait today, would you be prepared? In this time, you will still be expected to pay your own rent and household bills in full. If you go onto Universal Credit, please tell us immediately – we need to know if you will have any difficulty paying your full rent. 

You may need to make some changes to your spending habits to prepare for the wait. Our budgeting tool is free to use and only takes a couple of minutes to complete, helping you to prepare for the weeks ahead.

If you’re waiting on your Universal Credit claim and have little or no money, you might be able to apply for a Universal Credit advance payment online, by asking your work coach or the free Universal Credit Helpline - 0800 328 5644. This is free from landlines and mobiles, so nobody will be charged when they need to call to get help with their Universal Credit.

You can request up to a month’s full payment as an advance, but you don’t need to claim the full amount and should only claim as much as you need. Any advance payment will include an amount to cover your rent. Remember, you will have to repay this from your future Universal Credit payments over 12 months, so don’t claim more than you need.

If you have to borrow money, you might want to consider using a Credit Union. They can be an affordable alternative to payday, credit card or overdraft borrowing, especially if you are struggling to qualify for high street borrowing. We work in partnership with Leeds City Credit Union – no matter where you live, Leeds City Credit Union is simple and stress-free to access. Find out more here.

UC help

If you’d like support with Universal Credit, text UC HELP to 66099 and one of our expert advisors will be in touch.

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