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Universal Credit: Budgeting Advance

Getting a Universal Credit budgeting advance

You might be able to get a loan as part of your Universal Credit if you need to cover a specific expense - this is called a 'budgeting advance'.

If you get a budgeting advance, you'll get reduced Universal Credit payments until you've paid off the amount you borrow. This will normally be over 12 months.

You can apply for a budgeting advance to cover things like:

  • a one-off item - eg replacing a broken fridge

  • work-related expenses - eg 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

If you've applied for Universal Credit but haven't had your first payment yet, you need to get an advance payment instead of a budgeting advance.

When you can get a budgeting advance

You can get a budgeting advance if you need the money to help you get or stay in work - like train tickets for a job interview. If you need the money for any other reason, you’ll need to have claimed one of these benefits for 6 months or more:

  • Universal Credit

  • means-tested Jobseeker's Allowance,

  • means-tested Employment and Support Allowance

  • Income Support

  • Pension Credit

You'll also need to have earned less than £2,600 in the 6 months before your application. This figure is £3,600 if you live with a partner.

You can't get a budgeting advance if you or your partner is still paying off a previous budgeting advance.

How much you can borrow

The smallest budgeting advance you can get is £100. The maximum depends on your circumstances. You can borrow up to:

  • £348 if you're single without children

  • £464 if you're in a couple without children

  • £812 if you have children

If you have more than £1,000 in capital

Capital includes any savings, and some types of property.

If you have more than £1,000 in capital, the Jobcentre will reduce your budgeting advance by the excess amount.

For example, if you have £1,250 in capital, the Jobcentre will reduce your budgeting advance by £250.

Applying for a budgeting advance

You'll need to apply for your budgeting advance over the phone. To decide if you're eligible, and how much you can get, an adviser will look at:

  • whether you can afford to pay the loan back - they'll see if you have any debts and how much you owe to help work this out

  • how much you have in savings

You'll normally get a decision on the same day.

If you're refused a budgeting advance

You can't appeal if your application is rejected, but you can ask for the decision to be looked at again. It will help if you can give new evidence or show that your circumstances have changed since your first request.

How to Apply

To apply for a Universal Credit budgeting advance through the app, you should first ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, such as having been on Universal Credit or certain other benefits for at least six months and earning below a specific threshold. If you qualify, you can apply directly through your online Universal Credit account.

Here's how you can proceed:

  1. Log in to your Universal Credit account: Use your credentials to access your account where you manage your Universal Credit details.

  2. Navigate to the appropriate section: Look for an option related to 'budgeting advance' or similar terms where you can initiate the application process.

  3. Complete the application: You'll need to fill out the necessary details about why you need the advance and confirm that you can repay it over time. This includes specifying the expense the advance will cover, such as essential household items or work-related costs.

Once you submit your application, a decision is typically made on the same day, and if approved, the funds are usually transferred to your bank account within three days. In emergencies, this could be expedited to the same day.

For more details on the process you can contact Linx accounting for further guidance and seek personalised advise.

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