Advance payments and financial support
If you are in financial difficulties then there is a range of financial support on offer to help you.
If you have little or no money to see you through until your first Universal Credit payment then you can apply for an advance payment by calling the Universal Credit helpline or asking for advice from your local JobCentre Plus.
You can apply for up to one full month’s payment in advance. Please note though, this is a loan and not a grant, you will have to pay it back but will have 12 months to do so.
Alternative payment arrangements
If you are in financial difficulties and fall behind on your rent then you may be able to apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement so your rent is paid directly to your landlord or more frequently than once a month.
Speak to your Jobcentre work coach to apply for an APA
You can borrow from £100 up to £812 (if you have children) to help with emergency household costs such as replacing a broken cooker or help getting a job or staying in work. This money will be repaid through your regular Universal Credit payments.
Eligibility criteria applies and how much you receive depends on your circumstances. Speak to your Jobcentre work coach for more information and to apply.
Help paying your Council Tax
Council Tax Support (previously Council Tax Benefit) is not included in Universal Credit so you will still need to apply to our Revenues and Benefits service separately for help paying your Council Tax bill.
Discretionary Welfare Assistance
The South Worcestershire Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme will provide assistance in the form of goods or vouchers to help individuals or families facing exceptionally difficult circumstances or an emergency.
Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments are paid on top of any Housing Benefit you may receive. They act as additional financial support for those who need extra help with housing costs. They are normally only paid for a short period of time. There is only a limited amount of money available so not everyone who applies will receive payment, it will depend on your circumstances.
If you claim Universal Credit you may also be entitled to:
- Disabled Facilities Grant – to help make adaptations to your home if you are disabled
- Affordable Warmth Obligation – help making your home more energy efficient
- Help paying for childcare
- Free School Meals
Are you claiming everything you are entitled to?
Use this free benefits calculator to check you are not missing out on any financial help you could be claiming.