Significant changes during your transition to UC may affect your ability to manage your living costs, housing costs and savings. Learning how to manage your budget will help you adapt to this change. Money advice and budgeting support is available online, by phone or face-to-face and will be offered to you when you make a claim and meet your ‘work coach’ for your initial UC meeting.
Your payment will depend on your circumstances. Try using the benefits calculator to see how much money you will receive.
For personal advice and information based on your circumstances, please use Money Manager.
Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs)
If you still think you will struggle to manage your budget, pay your rent and living costs, you may be able to apply for Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA) at any stage of your UC claim. APAs can help by paying the ‘housing costs’ element of the UC payment directly to your landlord.
APAs will be considered if:
• You have accumulated one month’s rent arrears due to persistent underpayment
• You have accumulated two month’s rent arrears
Discretionary Housing Payments
If you receive Universal Credit but need extra financial support to pay your rent you may be eligible for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs). DHPs are normally given by Brent Council as a short-term measure to make up the shortfall or as a one off payment in some circumstances.
If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you wait for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply for an advance payment. You can also apply for an advance payment if you have a change in circumstances that will increase your UC payment. Apply through your online journal or through your Jobcentre work coach. Please note that future payments will be reduced to pay back your advance.
For more information about support you may be entitled to through the DWP, see other financial support.