I am about to apply for Universal Credit for the first time, but have been told that there is a six week wait before the first payment. I’m worried that I won’t be able to pay my bills. Is this right, and is there anything I can do?
This is correct, but you can ask for help. When you attend your claim interview at the Jobcentre Plus, ask if you can apply for an “advance payment” – this is a loan that will be deducted from your future benefits.
You’ll need to show how much money you need for essentials, and explain why the loan will protect you from serious financial problems. You can also apply through the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723. Apply as early as possible in your claim.
If you are refused, you can ask for a reconsideration. If you are still turned down, emergency assistance may be available – Jobcentre Plus or Citizens Advice can advise you.
Free, confidential advice and help is available from South Lakes Citizens Advice on any aspect of debt, consumer problems, benefits, housing, employment or any other problems. We have various outlets across South Lakeland and can also give advice over the phone – telephone 03444 111 444 for an appointment and help, 015394 46464 for debt and on-going enquiries. South Lakes Citizens Advice is a registered charity, No: 1118656 and company limited by guarantee, No: 6113551. FRN: 617574