IF you’re experiencing trouble applying for your Universal Credit, or the payments just don’t cover costs, here are your options:

  • Apply for an advance – Claimants are able to get some cash within five days rather than waiting weeks for their first payment. But it’s a loan which means the repayments will be automatically deducted from your future Universal Credit payout.

  • Alternative Payment Arrangements – If you’re falling behind on rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an APA which will get your payment sent directly to your landlord. You might also be able to change your payments to get them more frequently, or you can split the payments if you’re part of a couple.

  • Budgeting Advance – You may be able to get help from the Government to help with emergency household costs of up to £348 if you’re single, £464 if you’re part of a couple or £812 if you have children. These are only in cases like your cooker breaking down or for help getting a job. You’ll have to repay the advance through your regular Universal Credit payments. You’ll still have to repay the loan, even if you stop claiming for Universal Credit.

  • Cut your Council Tax – You might be able to get a discount on your Council Tax or be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments if your existing ones aren’t enough to cover your rent.

  • Foodbanks – If you’re really hard up and struggling to buy food and toiletries, you can find your local foodbank who will provide you with help for free. Catshill Food Bank is available to help you. Either call on their emergency phone which is 07542 102649 or email foodbank@catshillbaptist.org.uk
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