How Universal Credit claimants can get up to £812 in the run up to Christmas if they’re really struggling

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MILLIONS on Universal Credit can get up to £812 in advance payments to tide them over this Christmas period – but there’s a catch.

Those on the benefit can get what is known as a Budgeting Advance to help pay for emergency household costs.

You might need the money for a new cooker, help getting a job or staying in work or bills.

But the money is a loan which has to be paid back and you should only ask for it if you’re really struggling.

Your Universal Credit payments will be reduced in the months after you’ve taken out the advance and you’ll have to budget for the deficit.

You can borrow between £100 to £812. What you’re entitled to will depend on your circumstances.

The most you can get if you’re single is £348, £464 if you’re in a couple and £812 if you have children.

Your financial circumstances are also taken into consideration.

If you have savings over £1,000 the advance you are offered is reduced by £1 for every £1 you have over that £1,000.

The amount you borrow will usually be paid back over 12 months.

If you stop receiving Universal Credit you’ll have to agree a different way to pay the money back.

The loan is interest free, so you’ll pay back the exact amount you borrowed.

This is a better option than borrowing the money through a bank loan or credit card, as you’ll usually have to pay interest on those repayments.

If you do opt for a credit card, you should check interest rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal by using comparison websites like Uswitch or Money Super Market.

You can apply for a budgeting advance to cover things like:

  • A one-off item – for example, replacing a broken fridge
  • Work-related expenses – for example, buying uniform or tools
  • Unexpected expenses
  • Repairs to your home
  • Travel expenses
  • Maternity expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Moving costs or rent deposit
  • Essential items, like clothes

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