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Universal Credit First Payment Advance

In some cases you can get an advance while waiting for the first payment of Universal Credit. It applies most for claimants who need help paying bills or covering other living costs.

ADVANCE ON FIRST PAYMENT: There is no fixed amount that you can get. But, the advance could be part (or all) of the first estimated payment. Either way, claimants would still get some money on the first payment day. If you get an advance payment of Universal Credit you will need to pay it back.

The repayments would get taken out of future payments. This process would occur over the following 12 months (or sooner in some cases).

It does mean that you would be getting a little less each month until the loan gets paid off. Even so, you would not pay back a higher amount than the value of the advance payment.

How to Apply for an Advance Payment

You need to discuss your situation with the Jobcentre Plus work coach. Tell them that you would like to apply for a loan ahead of the first payment date. When applying:

  • You will need to explain why the advance is necessary.
  • You must provide bank account details to receive the advance payment.
  • You will need to verify your identity. Proof of identity will occur either:
    • Online when you submit the Universal Credit claim.
    • At the job centre during the first interview with a work coach.

Note: As a rule, they will inform you on the same day that you apply whether you will get the installment.

Getting Extra Help

There are several different Universal Credit helpline phone numbers to call. They are for claimants who need help applying for an advance payment.

The Universal Credit live service helpline is for people who do not have a UC online account already set up.

Universal Credit Live Service Helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 9344
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
A list of call charges in the United Kingdom.

There is a Universal Credit full service helpline as well. It is for people with a UC online account who use their online journal to manage their claim.

Universal Credit Full Service Helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm

Note: The government publication explains more on how to get an advance payment of Universal Credit.


Universal Credit Rules: An overview explaining what the Universal benefit system is and how it works.
Universal Credit Eligibility: Most people will qualify if they are on a low income or they are out of work.
Universal Credit Rates: Payments combine a standard allowance and any extra amounts that may apply.
How to Claim Universal Credit: You must apply online and as a couple if you are living with your partner.
Universal Credit Payments: Check how long it takes for the first payment and how often they get paid.
Claimant Commitment: Check what you need to do and your responsibilities if you get Universal Credit.
Reporting Changes: You must report a change of circumstances while you are getting Universal Credit.
Other Financial Support: Help is available from various other organisations if you are having difficulties.

How to get an Advance First Payment of Universal Credit