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Universal Credit UK: New applicants issued 'really important' warning about when to claim


The payment is replacing six different “legacy” benefits, and these are Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance. Eligibility rules for Universal Credit apply, but it may be those on a low income or who are out of work may be able to claim the benefit.

During this waiting time, the eligible person can apply for an advance, in order to help them with their living costs.

However, it’s very important to be aware that this advance needs to be paid back – beginning out of the person’s first payment.

The claimant can choose how many months the advance is paid back over, but currently, it needs to be repaid within 12 months.

“You do not pay interest on it – the total amount you pay back is the same,” explains the Government website.


The Money Advice Service, an independent service set up by government, has highlighted why this means it is important to apply for the benefit as soon as the person thinks they are entitled to do so.

“It’s really important you apply for Universal Credit as soon as you’re entitled, even if you think you’re not eligible,” the website states.

“If you find a new job, or your circumstances change before your application is complete, you will be able to cancel it.

“But at least you will not have to start your application from scratch and will not have to wait for your first payment.


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