How Universal Credit is paid

Universal Credit is paid directly into your bank account.  If you do not have a bank account that accepts payments, then you must open one or your Universal Credit payment may be delayed.  See our “opening a bank account” page for more information.

Universal Credit is paid as a single monthly payment, in arrears (meaning you might have to wait up to five weeks for your first payment).  You will be notified by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) of the amount you will receive and how it has been calculated.   Universal Credit normally includes your housing costs as well so you will be responsible for making sure you pay your rent out of your single monthly payment.

First Payment

Your first payment of Universal Credit will normally be five weeks after the date you made your claim.  The reasons for this are as follows:

  • The DWP require a one month assessment period to assess your circumstances and calculate your  entitlement.

  • Payment can take up to seven days from the end of your assessment period

During this period it is important that you continue to pay your rent.  If you are unable to do this, you must contact us urgently to discuss your rent account.  Please be aware your home is at risk if you do not pay your rent or contact us.

Amount of payment

The amount of Universal Credit you get will be different and depends on the income and circumstances of you and your household.  Payments can vary from month to month so it is important that you know how much you are getting and that you budget to make sure you can pay your rent and other bills.


If you are having difficulty managing your finances during the five week period, or at any point you are claiming Universal Credit, then the DWP may be able to help you.

They may be able to offer you a budgeting advance.  This is an advance payment of your Universal Credit which you will have to pay back. Please visit the budgeting advice page for more information.

You can also find some information about budgeting and financial support in our Help with Managing your Money section.