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How is universal credit paid?

Universal credit

Universal credit is normally paid into a bank, building society, Post Office card account or current account with a credit union. If you have a partner; you can choose who receives the payment. 

In England and Wales, your universal credit is normally paid in arrears as a single payment each month. Alternative payment arrangements (eg bi-monthly payments) would only be made if the DWP considers that you could not manage with a single monthly payment; such arrangements would usually only be made for a temporary period.

In Scotland, you can ask for your universal credit to be paid twice a month. If you get the universal credit housing costs amount, you can ask for this to be paid direct to your landlord.

In Northern Ireland, universal credit is paid twice a month in arrears, rather than once a month, and if you are renting, the housing costs amount is paid direct to your landlord. You can opt out of either arrangement.

It should normally take around five weeks to get your first payment of universal credit once you have made the claim. If you have difficulty budgeting at the beginning of your claim, you can ask for an advance payment, which you will have to repay.

You may also be able to get ‘discretionary housing payments’ (DHPs) if your universal credit does not cover all your housing costs. You must claim a DHP from your local authority.

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