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How is Universal Credit Paid and When?

The DWP have some flexibility on the payment frequencies of Universal Credit. But, as a rule, Universal Credit is a single payment that gets paid once a month.

THE FIRST PAYMENT: Like most benefits and pensions, the money goes straight into a secure bank account.

Universal Credit payments can also go into a building society or a credit union account.

Having made a successful claim for UC, it will take around five (5) weeks to receive the first payment.

That means some claimants might need help with their living costs during this period. If so, you can apply to get an advance on the first payment.

The waiting period combines two separate parts. The assessment period takes one month to complete. There will then be another delay (up to 7 days) until the payment reaches your account.

Universal Credit payments can also include an amount for housing costs. In most cases, you will need to pay the extra housing payment to your landlord.

An Example: A new claim for Universal Credit begins on the 1st of September. The first assessment period would run for one month to the 30th of September. Thus, the new assessment period would begin on the 1st of October.

In this example, the first payment for Universal Credit would get paid on the 7th of October. The payments would continue on the 7th of each month afterwards.

Note: The process of how Universal Credit gets paid and how you get the payments differs in Northern Ireland./p>

Universal Credit Payment Dates

UC claimants will get paid on the same date of every month after the first payment. But, you will get paid on the previous working day if your payment falls on a public holiday or a weekend.

As a rule, UC payments get paid in arrears. So, a monthly statement informs you how much Universal Credit you will get.

Universal Credit Payments in Scotland

Note: The Universal Credit ‘full service’ areas in Scotland can pay you once or twice each month. The eligibility checker at Citizens Advice Scotland will show if you qualify.

When you make a new claim in Scotland, you will receive a notification asking how often you want to get paid. The notification letter gets sent out after the first payment.

You can also ask your work coach to get a payment twice each month. This only applies to those who already get Universal Credit and do not get the notification.

The first payment will be for one full month even if you ask to get paid two times a month. You would receive the first half of the second month’s payment a month later. The second payment for that month would arrive 15 days afterwards.

The result is a gap of six weeks between the first payment and the full amount for the second month. Following that, you would get paid twice every month.

An Example: The first ‘full month’ payment for Universal Credit arrives on the 14th of December. If you asked to get paid twice a month, the second payment would arrive on the 14th of January. The other half would then follow on the 29th of January.

Following that, you would get a payment on the 14th and the 29th of each month afterwards.

Living with a Partner

What happens if you live with a partner and you both claim Universal Credit? In this case, you will get one (1) UC payment each month for the household.

What if you get paid twice a month and you are living in a ‘full service’ area in Scotland? In this cases, you will receive two (2) Universal Credit payments each month for the household.

Universal Credit Helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Welsh language: 0800 012 1888
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Check call charges to 0800 numbers.

Note: You should phone the helpline if you have concerns about getting access to Universal Credit payments.

Employed and getting Paid more than Once a Month

The frequency that your employer pays you can have an affect on Universal Credit. Getting paid once a month on the same date (with no earnings changes) means your Universal Credit amount should stay the same.

Getting paid weekly, every 2 weeks, or every 4 weeks, means you will get more than one set of wages during some UC assessment periods. It could mean that your earnings are too high to qualify for Universal Credit.

Note: DWP will tell you if they are and you may need to reapply to continue getting Universal Credit.

  • If employer pays every week: You will get 5 sets of wages in one assessment period once per year.
  • If employer pays every 2 weeks: You will get 3 sets of wages in one assessment period once per year.
  • If employer pays every 4 weeks: You will get 2 sets of wages in one assessment period once per year.


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.
Advance on First Payment: Find out how to get an advance payment to help cover essential living costs.
Your Responsibilities: You must make an agreement with your work coach to claim 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.

Universal Credit Payment Dates in the United Kingdom