Universal Credit time: What time does Universal Credit go in?

Universal Credit claims skyrocketed during the coronavirus crisis as a result of the subsequent impact on employment. Official figures suggest the number of workers on UK payrolls dropped by more than 600,000 between March and May. So what times exactly does Universal Credit go into your account?

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is the benefit which replaced these six other benefits: Income support, Working tax credit, Income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit and Child tax credit.

The payment is only available to those who are on a low income or out of work entirely.

Eligible candidates for Universal Credit must meet certain criteria including:

  • You must be out of work or on a low income
  • You must be aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 or 17)
  • You must be under state pension age, or if your partner is
  • You must have less than £16,000 in savings with your partner
  • You must live in the UK.

There are exceptions where some people aged 16 to 17 are eligible, where they might be eligible when studying.

You can find out more about eligibility for Universal Credit here.


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How is Universal Credit paid?

Universal Credit is paid to recipients once a month, usually via their bank, building society or credit union account.

In England, Wales and Scotland it is paid monthly in arrears.

In Scotland however, you may request to receive fortnightly payments instead of a single monthly payment.

In Northern Ireland, the default payment period is every two weeks, but you can choose to get monthly payments.

When does your first payment arrive?

Your first Universal Credit payment usually takes five weeks to arrive.

You are able to apply for an advance to help with living costs if required, while you wait for this first payment.

The wait before your first payment typically consists of a one month assessment period and up to seven days for the payment to reach your account.

However, this period has been expedited during lockdown.

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What time of day does your Universal Credit go in?

Your Universal Credit payment is typically paid straight into a bank, building society or credit union designated by yourself.

Depending on your bank, the funds will usually be available after midnight on the day they were due, usually in the early hours of the day.

Some banks will deposit the money into your account at 11.30pm so you can withdraw it before midnight on your allocated payday.

Others will opt to release funds at midnight or just a few minutes after that time.

In some cases, however, the money can be deposited later on such as 2am or 3am, and at times you may be unable to access these funds until at least 6am to 9am on your designated payday.

What dates do you get paid after your first payment?

After your first payment arrives, you will be paid on the same date every month.

When that date falls on a weekend or bank holiday, you are paid on the nearest working day ahead of this date.

The Universal Credit office will send you a monthly statement to inform you of how much to expect.

In Scotland, you can request for Universal Credit to be paid fortnightly instead of in a single monthly payment.

For those making a new claim you will get a notification asking how often you want to be paid, after which you will receive your first payment.

If you are already receiving Universal Credit and have not had a notification, you can ask your work coach to be paid twice a month.

In Northern Ireland, the default payment period is every fortnight, but you can choose to get monthly payments.

You can find out more about payment in Northern Ireland here.

What happens with your Universal Credit payments if you live with a partner?

For couples which both claim Universal Credit, you will get one payment for your household.

Those living in Scotland can be paid twice monthly, meaning two payments will be received each month per household.

You can phone the Universal Credit helpline if you are worried about getting access to these funds.

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