Universal Credit payments can only be paid into these three types of accounts – be aware

Universal Credit is paid once a month and the amount will depend on the claimant’s circumstances. It is also assessed and paid in arrears which could be difficult for new applicants to manage.

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There has been a huge demand for Universal Credit in recent weeks as coronavirus wreaked havoc on the UK economy.

New claimants may continue to struggle however as initial payments are usually delayed.

It can take five weeks to receive the first payment meaning that incomes and budgets will likely be stretched.

It’s possible to apply for advances to help with this but this could put the claimant into debt.

There are also limited options for how the money can be received, potentially adding more stress to the situation if the claimant doesn’t have a suitable account.

Claimants will need an account that can receive automated payments and currently there are only three options for this:

  • Current accounts
  • Basic bank accounts
  • Prepaid cards

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If the claimant cannot open any of these accounts, they will need to contact the office responsible for their specific payments.

It is also preferable to have an account that can make automated payments for certain living cost arrangements.

Being able to set up direct debits or standing orders for things like rent, electricity or gas bills will be beneficial.

The options for this though are even more limited as only current or basic bank accounts will allow it.

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While the initial payment won’t come through in a usual time frame, additional payments after this will be paid on the same date of every month.

If the payment date falls on a weekend, the claimant will be paid on the previous working day.

Claimants will also receive a monthly statement which lays out how much income they’ll be receiving.

Couples who claim together will get one payment each for the household.

Claimants will receive payments that are based on their specific circumstances.

Because of this, there is variation on what’s paid out but monthly “standard allowances” are in place.

These allowances can be considered to be a minimum, with additional “elements” being added to them.

The allowances are dependent on the claimant’s age and living situation.

The current standard allowances are:

  • £342.72 for single claimants under 25
  • £409.89 for single claimants over 25
  • £488.59 each for couples below 25
  • £594.04 each for couples over 25

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