Already claimed

5. Help with emergency costs

Budgeting Advances

You can get what is known as a Budgeting Advance to help pay for emergency household costs such as buying a new cooker or for help getting a job or staying in work. This is an advance of your monthly Universal Credit entitlement, so your monthly payments will be reduced to cover the advance.  You’ll be told how much your payments will be reduced by.

You’ll have to agree another way to cover the cost of your Budgeting Advance if you stop getting Universal Credit.

What you’ll get

The smallest amount you can borrow is £100. The most you can get is:

  • £348 if you’re single
  • £464 if you’re part of a couple
  • £812 if you have children

How much you can get depends on:

  •  your financial circumstances
  • whether you have any savings over £1,000. Your first £1,000 of savings will be ignored, but the budgeting advance you are offered will be reduced by £1 for every £1 you have over that first £1,000.

Impact on Universal Credit monthly payments

Your overall Universal Credit entitlement will remain the same, but because you’ve asked for some of it up front, your monthly payments will be reduced for up to 12 months to cover the advance.

The reductions will start when your Budgeting Advance is paid.


To get a Budgeting Advance, you must have:

  • been getting Universal Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or State Pension Credit for 6 months or more, unless you need the money to help you start a new job or keep an existing job.
  • earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 jointly for couples) in the past 6 months, and not currently be in an arrangement where your entitlement is being spread out.