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Hardship payments / Budgeting Loans / Short Term Benefit Advance / Universal Credit Advance

Hardship payments

You may be able to get a hardship payment if your Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) payments have been stopped. You don’t have to pay it back.

A hardship payment is a reduced amount (usually 60%) of your JSA.

You must be 18 or over to make a claim for a hardship payment.

You’ll have to show that you’ve tried to find the money from somewhere else, such as borrowing from a friend or working extra hours.

Speak to your Jobcentre Plus adviser or work coach to find out how to claim a hardship payment.

You can contact the Jobcentre Plus on 0800 169 0310. The line is open Monday to Friday between 8am to 6pm.

Budgeting Loans

If you have been in receipt of one of the below benefits for 26 weeks or more then you may be eligible to apply for a Budgeting Loan

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

A Budgeting Loan can help you pay for

  • furniture or household items (for example, washing machines or other ‘white goods’)
  • clothes or footwear
  • rent in advance
  • costs linked to moving house
  • maintenance, improvements or security for your home
  • travelling costs within the UK
  • costs linked to getting a new job
  • maternity costs
  • funeral costs
  • repaying hire purchase loans
  • repaying loans taken for the above items

If you take out a Budgeting Loan then you will need to repay it. The repayments will be taken automatically from your benefits. To apply you need to complete a Form SF500 which is available at your local Jobcentre Plus or on the Jobcentre Plus website.

Short Term Benefit Advance

If you have applied for benefits and not yet been paid then the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will consider awarding you a Short Term Benefit Advance (STBA). Follow this link for information on whether you may be eligible and how to apply.

Universal Credit Advance

If you have applied for Universal Credit and are waiting for your first payment then you may be able to get an advance of your first Universal Credit Payment. Follow this link for information on how to apply, how much you may get and costs of repayment.

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