Renfrewshire Council

When and how you will be paid

Here you will find information on Universal Credit payments.

Universal Credit is paid once a month, usually into your bank, building society or credit union account.  If you have made a joint claim with your partner, a single payment will be made to one account. If you have claimed for help with your rent, this will be part of your Universal Credit payment and you must arrange for this to be paid to your landlord.

Tip: It usually takes around 5 weeks to get your first payment.  If you need help with your living costs while you wait for your first payment, you can apply for an advance.

The wait before your first payment is made up of one month assessment period and up to seven days for the payment to reach your account.

For example:

You make a new Universal Credit claim on 19 September.  Your first assessment period runs for one month, from the 19 September to 18 October, with a new assessment period beginning on 19 October.  You will get paid on 25 October and on the 25th of each month thereafter.

Eligible claimants of UC will be offered some choices after they have received their first payment of UC. The choices are to:

  • Be paid monthly or twice monthly; and
  • Have any housing costs paid to you or directly to your landlord.

Tip: Unless you or your landlord have requested a direct payment of rent to your landlord, you must make arrangements to pay your rent to your landlord.


Advance UC Payments

If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you wait for your first UC payment, you can apply to get an advance. You can apply for an advance payment in your online account, or through your Jobcentre Work Coach.

Tip: If you are considering an advance, take no more than you need and can afford to repay. 

The amount you get could be some or all of your first estimated payment. The advance is repaid from your UC payments over the following 12 months (or sooner if requested).  This means you will get less UC each month until it's paid off.  When applying for an advance it is wise to work out how much will be deducted from your future UC payments to make sure you can afford to pay it back each month.


Managing UC Payments

Universal Credit is calculated monthly in arrears.  Your UC payment might also include help with your housing costs, if you rent. 

Tip: Paying rent on time and in full is the most important part of a tenancy agreement.

 If you are worried about being able to pay rent, and having enough money for essential household items, you should speak to your landlord as soon as possible.

You will be also expected to pay any Council Tax and/or water and waste charges.  There is no award within UC made to assist with this.  You should claim online with Renfrewshire Council for assistance with Council Tax payments by applying for Council Tax Reduction. Click on Apply for Council Tax Reduction under 'related articles'.

Tip: You can apply for Council Tax Reduction from Renfrewshire Council to assist with the costs of your Council Tax.  


Additional Financial Help

If your UC award includes your rent but does not cover the whole amount, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment from Renfrewshire Council to help with the shortfall. Click on Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment under 'related articles'.

If you need help to set up your home, or you and your family have been hit by a crisis, you can apply for a Crisis or Community Care Grant from Renfrewshire Council.  This can help meet the costs of food, fuel and day to day living. Click on Apply for a Community Care Grant or Apply for a Crisis Grant under 'related articles'.

If you have been sanctioned, you can apply for a Hardship Payment from the DWP. Speak to your Work Coach for more information. 

Advice Works can help you with a wide range of issues around benefits and debt. You can find their phone number and email address under 'contacts'.