Universal Credit Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs) are monetary payments given to those eligible individuals who have struggled financially to enable flexible payment arrangements. There are different types of APAs which can help people in different circumstances. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain how Alternative Payment Arrangements work and how much you could be entitled to.
Universal Credit Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs) are paid to those who cannot manage their single monthly payments.
These payments are given when there is a risk of financial harm to claimants and/or their families.
There are three types of APA:
- Paying housing costs of Universal Credit as a Managed Payment (MP) direct to the landlord
- Those making more frequent than monthly payments
- Split payment of an award between partners.
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When considering your eligibility for an APA, the Job Centre will consider whether to pay your housing costs directly to your landlord.
This method will protect you from losing your home if you are in rent arrears.
They would also consider paying Third Party Deductions, which are payments from your standard allowance to pay towards your arrears so both your rent and arrears payments are covered.
JobCentre Plus will then consider paying your Universal Credit more regularly, it is most likely they would be paid twice a month, however, in some circumstances, they will consider paying more frequently.
The Job Centre may also split your Universal Credit payment between you and your partner.
They might do this equally or unequally, depending on who has had money problems in the past and has suffered domestic violence but are still living with your partner.
How to request an APA
If you are applying for Universal Credit or you are about to apply, you should ask for the arrangement you want at your interview.
If you already receive Universal Credit, you should call the Universal Credit helpline on the below numbers:
- Telephone: 0800 328 5644
- Textphone: 0800 328 1344
- Telephone (Welsh language): 0800 012 1888.