Are more people being paid an advance on their Universal Credit?

18th Oct 2017


More people are getting advance payments on Universal Credit.


Correct. Advances made on the first payment of new Universal Credit claims increased from 30% of claims in May 2016 to 52% in July 2017.

“The figures show that the performance in getting payments to people on time has improved substantially, and more people are getting advanced payments.”

Theresa May, 18 October 2017

Universal Credit is attempting to simplify lots of different social security benefits into one. It’s a complicated project that will affect 7 million people and there have been many difficulties. It is now five years behind schedule.

More people are receiving their first Universal Credit payment on time, as we discussed last week.

The share of people who were paid an advance on their first full service Universal Credit payment has also increased. It was 30% in May 2016 and 52% in July 2017, so over half of new claimants were paid an advance.

If someone can’t wait six weeks for their first payment they can apply for an advance, which they’ll pay back out of future Universal Credit payments.

How much can be advanced?

Advance payments range from less than £50 to over £600. They are most often around £100 to £200. They’re capped at 50% of the expected monthly Universal Credit payment.

The amount also has to be repayable within six months for new claims and twelve months for people transferring from other benefits.

This fact check is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.