Universal Credit UK: Claimants may be affected by payment change today – this is why

Universal Credit is paid monthly, although some people who live in Scotland may receive the payment fortnightly. It may be that claimants have noticed a payment in their account today, having expected it at a later date.


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This is because a temporary change is taking effect from today.

Some claimants will be paid early, and this is due to the Spring Bank Holiday falling on Monday May 25.

Should benefit payments be due on a Bank Holiday, then the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) states the payment will instead be paid on the first working day prior to this.

As the Bank Holiday follows on from the weekend, payments expected on Monday May 25 will instead be paid on Friday May 22.

It usually takes around five weeks for a claimant to get their first Universal Credit payment – something which has become known as the five-week wait.

This time frame is made up of a one-month assessment period and up to seven days for the payment to reach the account.

People who need help with their living costs during this time may apply for an advance.

However, it’s crucial that claimants are aware that they will need to repay this advance.

The repayments will begin out of the first payment.

The claimant can choose how many months they pay the advance back over, but currently, it must be within 12 months.

Following the first payment, recipients of Universal Credit will be paid on the same date of every month.

That is, unless this payment date falls on a weekend of bank holiday – when they’ll usually get it on the working day before.


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How much is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance as well as any extra amounts which may apply to the claimant.

These additional amounts depend on circumstances, such as if the individual:

  • Has children
  • Has a disability or health condition which prevents them from working
  • Needs help paying rent.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware that how much Universal Credit a person gets depends on earnings.

For those who are employed, the payment will reduce gradually as they earn more.

Universal Credit standard allowance

The standard monthly allowance depends on circumstances, such as whether the claimant is over the age of 25 or not, and claiming as a couple or a single person.

The monthly standard allowance rates are the following:

  • Single and under 25 – £342.72
  • Single and 25 or over -£409.89
  • In a couple and both people are under 25 – £488.59 (for both)
  • In a couple and either person is 25 or over -£594.04 (for both).

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