New and existing universal credit applicants can apply for an emergency loan – here’s how
More than six million people are now claiming universal credit, a benefit designed to help those who are unemployed or on low incomes meet the costs of daily living.
As Scotland and the rest of the UK ease foreclosure restrictions even further, the economy is expected to get back on its feet – but how fast is not entirely clear.
With the possibility that more households will be affected by the economic impact of the health crisis, whether through layoffs, unemployment, illness or a reduction in wages, many will now be able to apply for financial assistance through the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
However, thousands of potential applicants may not know that when you apply for Universal Credit, the first installment can take up to five weeks and for those in immediate need of financial assistance, it is now possible to request a deposit.
However, it is important to know that this advance must be repaid as a deduction from their regular Universal Credit payment, however applicants now have 24 months to repay the loans for emergencies, instead of the previous 12.
To request a Universal Credit advance you can:
- talk to your Jobcentre Plus work coach
- apply through your online account
- call him Universal credit helpline on 0800 328 5644
If a Universal Credit Claimant does not report a change in his situation, he could have his payment stopped or reduced – this is called a penalty.
And if a person receives a sanction, they can apply for hardship if they cannot pay for rent, heating, food or hygiene needs.
the GOV.UK website says, “If you don’t have enough to live on while you wait for your first payment, you can ask for a down payment after making a claim.
“You can also ask for a hardship payment if you cannot afford the rent, heat, food, or hygiene needs because you have been sanctioned.
“You must repay it through your Universal credit payments – they will be lower until you pay them back. ”
People experiencing financial difficulties and having difficulty paying their rent can also apply for a Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA).
This could see the rent being paid directly to an owner, the benefit paid more than once a month, or the payment shared between the person and their partner.
There is also a Budget advance which can help with some costs. These include:
the GOV.UK website explains that people who get a Budget advance will reimburse it through their Universal Credit Payments.
It means their Universal credit payments will be lower until they pay it back, and if they stop getting universal credit, they’ll have to pay the money back some other way.
How much can I borrow?
The smallest amount you can borrow is £ 100. You can get up to:
What an eligible person gets depends on their savings of over £ 1,000 and their ability to repay the loan.
To get a Budget advance, all of the following conditions must apply:
- You have been receiving universal credit, employment and support allowance (ESA), income assistance, jobseeker’s allowance or state pension credit for six months or more, unless you need the money to help you start a new job or stay employed
- You have earned less than £ 2,600 (£ 3,600 together for couples) in the past six months
- You have repaid all previous budget advance loans
To learn more about advances or prepayments and loan budgeting, visit GOV.UK website here.
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