Universal Credit payments and advance payments in Northern Ireland
Universal Credit is normally paid to a household twice a month and you will need to budget for this. A household can be a single person, a couple or a family. You will get your first payment five weeks after you put in your claim.
You may ne able to claim benefits Depending on your personal circumstance:
- You may request a monthly payment
- You may request that payments be split between members of a couple in a household
Speak to your Work Coach or Case Manager for more information on alternative payment options.
Help while waiting for your first payment
You normally get your first payment five weeks after claiming.
If waiting for your first Universal Credit payment will put you into financial difficulty, there is support available. Contact the Universal Credit Service Centre via your online account or speak to your Work Coach about:
- budgeting support and money advice
- an advance payment which will be recovered from your Universal Credit payments over several months
- a Universal Credit Contingency Fund payment which may be available if you are still in financial difficulty after getting an advance payment
- a Discretionary Support payment
How much you'll get
The amount of Universal Credit you can get depends on your circumstances, including your income and how many children you have.
A benefits calculator(external link opens in a new window / tab) can help you check if you can get Universal Credit or other benefits.
Your Universal Credit payment is made up of a monthly ‘Standard Allowance’ and any extra amounts you may be entitled to.
Monthly Standard Allowance
|Your circumstances||Monthly Standard Allowance|
|Single and under 25||£251.77|
|Single and 25 or over||£317.82|
|In a couple and you’re both under 25||£395.20|
|In a couple and either of you are 25 or over||£498.89|
If you’re eligible, you may get more money on top of your Standard Allowance.
|Your circumstances||Extra monthly amount|
|For your first child born before 6 April 2017||£277.08|
|For your second or any subsequent child born before 6 April 2017||£231.67|
|For a child born on or after 6 April 2017 but only if they are your first and/or second born||£231.67|
|If you need help with childcare costs||Up to 85% of your costs (up to £646.35 for one child and £1,108.04 for two children)|
|If you have a child with disabilities or severe disabilities||£126.11 to £392.08|
|If you have a disability or health condition that stops you from working||£336.20|
|If you care for a person with disabilities||£160.20|
If you have children
From 6 April 2017, the UK Government’s ‘Two Child’ policy was established, providing support through Universal Credit for a maximum of two children.
The child element of your Universal Credit payment will depend on how many children you have and the date they were born.
You may get money to help pay your housing costs. This is known as a ‘housing element’. It can cover:
- some service charges
The housing element will be paid directly to your landlord. If you meet certain conditions you can request for it to be paid to you, allowing you to pay your own rent. The housing element may not cover all of your rent. You will need to check this as you are responsible for covering any shortfall yourself.
The housing element does not cover costs for living in temporary accommodation or supported housing, such as a hostel. In these circumstances, you may be able to apply for Housing Benefit(external link opens in a new window / tab).
If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get Support for Mortgage Interest. This is a loan to help towards interest payments on your mortgage or other loans you’ve taken out for your home.
Your Universal Credit payment will reduce gradually as you earn more. For every £1 you earn, your Universal Credit payment will be reduced by £0.63.
You can earn a certain amount before your Universal Credit is reduced if you or your partner either:
- are responsible for a child or young person
- have a disability or health condition that affects your ability to work
This is called a ‘Work Allowance’.
Your Work Allowance will be lower if you get help with housing costs.
|Your circumstances||Monthly work allowance|
|You get help with housing costs||£287|
|You don’t get help with housing costs||£503|
The Benefit Cap may limit the total amount of benefit you can get.