RESEARCH Universal Credit claimants can receive a budget advance of up to £812 to help them complete.
Cash can be used to pay for emergency household expenses such as buying a new kitchen, funeral expenses, or helping to find a job or stay at work.
A budget advance is a loan so it will need to be repaid, but it can be helpful if you have unexpected expenses and are short on cash.
The maximum you can get for a budget advance is £348 if you are single without children or £464 if you are a childless couple.
If you have children, you can get a loan of up to £812.
The lowest you can get for a budget advance is £100.
Below, we explain all the rules, including who is eligible and how to apply.
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UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with one monthly payment.
A million people have already received it, and by the time the system is fully deployed in 2023, almost 7 million people will be using it.
But there are major problems with the flagship new system – it takes five weeks to receive the first payment and it could cost some families thousands of pounds a year.
And while working families can claim up to 85% of their childcare costs, they have to find money to pay for childcare up front – we’ve heard of families having to wait up to six months. new month to receive money.
Working parents across the country tell us they can’t work overtime – or have even turned down higher-paying or longer-hours work because of the amount of money they’ve had their benefits cut.
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Who is eligible for a budget advance and what can I use it for?
To receive a budget advance, you must have:
- Have received Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or State Retirement Credit for six months or more, unless you need the money to help you get started Start a new job or keep an existing one
- Have earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 jointly) in the last six months
- All previous budget advances have been paid
How much you can get depends on whether you can pay back the loan and whether you have any savings above £1,000.
Your first £1,000 savings will be ignored, but the loan amount you are offered will decrease by £1 for every £1 you have over that first £1,000.
You can apply for a budget advance to pay for things like:
- Disposable supplies – e.g. replacing a broken refrigerator
- Work-related expenses – for example, buying uniforms or tools
- Unexpected expenses
- Repair your home
- Travel expenses
- Maternity expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Moving costs or rental deposit
- Essential items, like clothes
When do you return it?
Claimants who have borrowed a budget advance must repay it within the first 12 months of receipt.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) deducts an amount from your General Credit payment each month, starting with your first.
You can work out how much will be deducted from your payment each month by dividing the entire cost of the loan by 12.
For example, if you borrow £812, you’ll see around £68 taken out of your General Credit payment each month.
If you stop receiving General Credit, you’ll have to agree to another way to repay the loan.
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How to apply for a budget advance?
You can apply for a budget advance by calling the Common Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 or 0800 012 1888 if you would like to speak in Welsh.
An advisor will then look to see if you can pay back the loan – they’ll see if you have any debt and how much you owe to help work this out.
The phone line is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and you’ll usually get a decision the same day.
Alternatively, you can sign up through your online account or speak to your Jobcentre Plus job coach.
What other options do I have?
If your application is denied, you cannot appeal, but you can request a review of the decision.
It would be helpful if you could present new evidence or show that your circumstances have changed since your first request.
If you still get rejected, you can apply for help from Flexible support fund.
This money can be used to cover expenses such as babysitting, uniforms, or work tools as long as they help you get a job.
This is only given if all other help has been exhausted – but that doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy it.
Also, it might be worth a look if you can get a grant to buy any broken white goods.
In August, there were 8,000 organizations and charities in the UK providing cash to help families in need.
Turn2Us has a free sponsored search engine so you can find out what help is available to you.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/13718545/universal-credit-rules-budgeting-advance-apply-eligibility/ General Credit rules explained – can you get a £812 budget advance?