Alternative payment arrangements

In most cases, Universal Credit will be paid to a nominated member of your household in a single, monthly, payment. If you are currently receiving benefits you will probably be used to being paid more frequently, perhaps weekly or fortnightly.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recognises that this might cause problems for some people who will struggle with budgeting for things such as rent, bills and living expenses, particularly when it is first introduced or in times of hardship.

 

 

So it is offering help, including alternative payment arrangements, access to money advice and short courses on how to manage your budget better.

 

  • What can an alternative payment arrangement include?

    • •    Paying housing costs directly to your landlord rather than to you;
      •    Increasing how often you get paid;
      •    Splitting Universal Credit payments to more than one member of your household.

      The DWP expects alternative payment arrangements to be a short term solution while people seek money advice or do a course on budgeting.  

      Once someone feels more comfortable with their situation they will most likely return to being paid monthly.
  • Who might be eligible for an alternative payment arrangement?

    • The DWP says there are two groups of claimants who may need an alternative payment arrangement:

      •    TIER 1 (very likely to need an alternative payment arrangement). This includes people living in temporary or supported accommodation, those with multiple debts or substance abuse issues.
      •    TIER 2 (quite likely to need an alternative payment arrangement). People who don’t have a bank account, are just out of hospital or prison or have previously lived in supported or temporary accommodation fall into this group.

      Even if any of the above applies to you an alternative payment arrangement won’t automatically happen – you will have to apply yourself.

      If you don’t fall into either of those groups you can still ask for an alternative payment arrangement to be made.

      To apply or find out more speak to your local Job Centre Plus office.  

      A support worker or customer service partner can help you with this.
  • When do these changes apply?

    • These changes will come into effect as Universal Credit is introduced across the country.  

      While it remains in the ‘Pathfinder’ stage (rolled out to only a handful of Job Centre Plus offices) the proposals remain subject to change.