The coronavirus and resulting national lockdowns have wreaked havoc on people’s finances, with millions of people placed on the furlough scheme.

And many have had to suffer losing their job all together.

As a result, the number of people relying on state payouts and welfare schemes has sky rocketed.

Many people are just one or two missed payslips away from being in urgent need of financial help. If you ever feel you are in dire need of cash; a Universal Credit budgeting advance may be the best way forward.

Here's what you need to know:

What is a budgeting advance?

The money from one of these advances comes from the Department for Work and Pensions with the aim of helping someone cover emergency expenses, such as paying for a broken fridge or washing machine, or helping cover the cost of a funeral.

You could also use this money for a rent deposit, repairs to your home, maternity expenses, or travel requirements.

This advance can provide up to £812 in emergency support.

How to find out if you're eligible

GOV.UK lists all the factors that would make you eligible for a budgeting advance, they are:

  • you’ve been getting Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or State Pension Credit for six months or more, unless you need the money to help you start a new job or stay in work

  • you have earned less than £2,600 (£3,600 together for couples) in the past six months

  • you have paid off any previous budgeting advances

The method of repaying the advance is usually done via deductions in the amount you usually receive in Universal Credit payments.

However, if you stop receiving Universal Credit, you will still be asked to repay the advance using another method.

How much money can I get from a budgeting advance?

The smallest amount you can borrow is £100.

You can get up to:

  • £348 if you’re single

  • £464 if you’re part of a couple

  • £812 if you have children

The amount of money offered to you varies depending on whether you have over £1,000 in savings to ensure you can pay the loan back.

How do I apply?

To apply for a budgeting advance, contact your local Jobcentre Plus office.

Your nearest one can be found via entering your postcode into the Government's website search tool here.

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