How to apply for an emergency loan of up to £ 1,116 if you have universal credit
UNIVERSAL credit applicants can apply for an emergency loan of up to £ 1,116 if they are struggling to find money.
There are two types of Universal Credit Advance Payments, and the amount you receive will depend on your personal circumstances.
One of the advances is for new applicants to help cover costs while waiting for their first payment.
It takes five weeks for your first payment to reach your bank account – a time that The Sun has campaigned to reduce.
James Andrews, Personal Finance Editor at Money.co, United Kingdom said: “Although an actual application for universal credit can be made in a relatively short period of time, it can sometimes take weeks for the money to appear in your bank account. “
As this is a loan, you will have to repay the money and the repayments will be made on your future Universal Credit maturities.
The amount you can borrow will vary, but you could get up to 100% of your estimated Universal Credit payment.
The maximum standard allowance for a couple over 25 is £ 596.58 per month – but that includes the further increase of £ 20 per week for Covid which ends next month.
If you have children, you will also receive up to £ 282.50 for your first child and £ 237.08 for any other eligible child.
James said: “That’s a notional total of £ 1,116.16, provided you are eligible for the benefit ceiling grace period.”
You may receive more or less than that depending on your age, whether you live in a couple, have children, or need help with housing costs.
But you won’t be allowed to borrow an amount that would take you more than two years to pay off.
Applicants can request that refunds be blocked for three months – but this is only approved in exceptional circumstances.
To apply, you must speak to your work coach or log into your Universal Credit online account.
You can also call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.
Current applicants whose circumstances have changed, which means they are entitled to a larger payment, can also apply for an advance.
The advance closes the gap until the increased amount is processed.
The money will be transferred to you within three business days and is supposed to last the full five weeks before your first payment.
The other type of loan is a budget advance and is aimed at Britons who already claim universal credit.
It is designed to help with emergency costs, including household repairs, getting a job, or funeral expenses.
The smallest amount you can claim is £ 100 and the maximum for singles is £ 348.
It is £ 464 if you are in a relationship and £ 812 if you have children.
You’ll also have to pay it back through your regular Universal Credit payments – your payments will be lower until you pay it back.
For both types of advances, if you no longer get universal credit, you will need to repay through other means, such as salaries or other benefits.
What other help is available?
There are other ways to get help if you’re having trouble waiting for your first Universal Credit payment but don’t want to borrow money.
Make sure you apply for all the benefits to which you are entitled using a online calculator.
You can apply for the Flexible Support Fund to cover childcare costs during the five week waiting period.
It can also be used to pay for additional costs if you are looking for a job, such as travel expenses to attend an interview and uniforms or tools needed to start work.
There is no set amount that will be paid to you, it depends on the individual circumstances.
To apply, you must speak to your local Job Center advisor.
You can also contact your local council as they may be able to help you through a distress fund or the Covid Local Support Grant.
Your children may be entitled to free school meals if you apply for certain benefits.
If you have trouble paying for food, you can use a local food bank. You should contact Advice to citizens for a referral.