Advance Benefit Payments | Getting Help with Urgent Expenses | Age UK (2024)

If you have an unexpected bill or emergency cost that you can't pay, there might be support available. You might be able to get your benefit paid in advance or you could apply for support from your local council or a charity.

Can I get my benefit paid in advance?

There are a couple of ways you could get an advanced benefit payment:

  • You might be able to get an advance payment of your benefit called a Budgeting Loan (or Budgeting Advance if you receive Universal Credit).
  • If you’re waiting for a decision on your benefit claim, you might be able to get a short-term advance.

Budgeting Loans

Budgeting Loans can help you pay for essential things such as furniture, clothing and removal costs.

The minimum loan is £100. The maximum amount you can borrow is:

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

To be eligible for a Budgeting Loan, you or your partner must be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-based Employment and Support Allowance.

There may be different options for how you repay your loan, but you’ll need to repay it within 104 weeks. What you owe is usually taken out of your benefit payments until the loan is paid off.

There are a couple of different ways that you can apply for a Budgeting Loan. You can:

Budgeting Advances (if you're receiving Universal Credit)

Budgeting Advances can help to pay for a range of different expenses, such as one-off items, home repairs, moving costs or clothes.

The minimum advance payment is £100. The maximum amount is:

  • £348if you’re single with no children
  • £464if you’re a couple with no children
  • £812if you have children

A Budgeting Advance is a loan. You’ll usually need to repay it within 12 months. Repayments will be taken from your Universal Credit payments until it's paid back. You’ll be told how much your payments will be reduced by.

There are a couple of different ways that you can apply for a Budgeting Advance. You can:

Short-term advances

If you’re waiting for a decision on your benefit claim, you might be able to get a short-term advance to support you while you’re waiting for your first benefit payment.

You can apply for an advance if you’ve recently applied for:

  • State Pension
  • Pension Credit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance

A short-term advance is a loan. Repayments will be taken from your benefit payments until it's completely paid back – you’ll be told how much your payments will be reduced by.

To apply for a short-term advance, contact the organisation responsible for the benefit you’re claiming.

Advances at the start of your claim (if you're receiving Universal Credit)

You usually have to wait at least 5 weeks before you receive your first Universal Credit payment. If you're finding it hard to manage, you can get an advance to help with living costs and your rent.

There are a few ways you can apply for an advance. You can:

These advances are loans – repayments are usually taken from your Universal Credit payments over 24 months.

Can I get financial help from my local council?

Your local council might be able to help if you’re in a financial crisis.

Schemes vary from one area to another. For example, some local councils may not offer a cash grant but provide goods, services or vouchers instead.

Get in touch with your local council to find out about the financial support schemes that they offer and to check if you qualify.

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Can I get financial help from other charities?

Charities and benevolent funds might be able to help you if you’re unable to get support.

If you ask for help from a charity or benevolent fund, youmight need to give them proof that you weren’t able to get a loan or advance payment of your benefit or financial support from your local council.

Grants from charities can range from small amounts for food vouchers to large amounts for buying domestic goods, such as washing machines or cookers. Others might provide help towards the cost of a wheelchair or housing adaptations.

There are many charities and trusts in the UK. Some may only support particular groups, while others will consider helping anyone. Each charity will have their own eligibility criteria and application process.

Search for charitable grants on the Turn2us website

Can I get help to pay for funeral expenses?

If you're responsible for arranging a funeral and you're on a low income, you may be eligible for a Funeral Expenses Payment. This covers the cost of a simple burial or cremation, including up to £1,000 for other expenses, such as funeral director’s fees and the coffin. The eligibility criteria for Funeral Expenses Payments can be complicated, but there's more information on the government website.

Find out more about Funeral Expenses Payments on GOV.UK

If you get any money from the estate of the person who's died, then your Funeral Expenses Payment will usually be deducted from this.

There are a couple of ways that you can apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment. You can:

You have to apply within 6 months of the funeral for your claim to be considered.

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We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age UKs.

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Advance Benefit Payments | Getting Help with Urgent Expenses | Age UK (2024)

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