Renfrewshire Council

When and how you will be paid Universal Credit

When and how Universal Credit is paid, paying your rent, getting an advance on your first payment, managing your payments, other financial help.

When and how Universal Credit is paid

You can get paid Universal Credit either once or twice 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.

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.

Paying your rent

If you have claimed for help with your rent, this will be part of your Universal Credit payment.

You must arrange for this to be paid to your landlord, unless you or your landlord have requested a direct payment of rent to your landlord.

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.

Getting an advance on your first Universal Credit payment

If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you wait for your first Universal Credit 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.

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 Universal Credit payments over the following 12 months (or sooner if requested).  This means you will get less Universal Credit 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 Universal Credit payments to make sure you can afford to pay it back each month.

Managing your Universal Credit payments

Universal Credit is calculated monthly in arrears. 

You will be also expected to pay any Council Tax and water and waste charges. There is no award within Universal Credit made to assist with this.

You should claim online for assistance with Council Tax payments by applying for Council Tax Reduction.

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

Other financial help

If your Universal Credit award includes your rent but does not cover the whole amount, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with the shortfall. 

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 Grant or Community Care Grant.

This can help meet the costs of food, fuel and day to day living. 

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

Our Advice Works team can also help you with a wide range of issues around benefits and debt.