What is a Universal Credit advance payment, how do you apply and when do you pay it back?

BRITS waiting for their first Universal Credit payment can apply for an advance loan to get them through.

It can take up to five weeks before you are enrolled on the system and in the meantime your existing benefits will stop altogether.

It's this waiting period that plunges vulnerable people further into debt, which is why The Sun is calling for it to be slashed to two weeks as part of our Make Universal Credit Work campaign.

The welfare scheme was first introduced in 2010 but as more people move onto it, it's expected 3.2million people will be worse off.

Ministers announced in October 2018 they will give an extra two weeks of several benefits to people on Universal Credit in future – but this won't come in until 2020.

In the meantime, we've put together a guide to all you need to know about advance payments before taking one out.

Amber Rudd confirmed on July 22, that up to 10,000 Brits on the old benefits system will finally start being moved onto Universal Credit this summer.

What is an advance payment?

An advance payment is a loan that you can ask for to help you through the five week wait for your first Universal Credit payment.

You can also ask for one if you're already on the scheme but expect your payment to increase because your circumstances have changed.

The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit Work

UNIVERSAL Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.

One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7 million will be on it.

But there are big problems with the flagship new system – it takes 5 weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.

And while working families can claim back up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.

Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.

It’s time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the government to:

  1. Get paid faster: The Government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop 7 million from being pushed into debt.
  2. Keep more of what you earn: The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4 million families.
  3. Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.

Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.

Join our Universal Credit Facebook group or email [email protected] to share your story.

Claimants can borrow up to 100 per cent of their estimated payment but you can also ask for less.

It's an interest-free loan which means you will only pay back what you borrow. But remember, you will be expected to pay it back.

The money will be transferred to you within three working days and is supposed to last the full five weeks before your first payment.

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