Can Universal Credit be paid weekly?

As one of the most controversial of the benefits paid by the Department for Work and Pensions, there are still many questions that people have not had answered about Universal Credit. These can range from worries over whether the benefit will mean lesser payments as opposed to what welfare payments used to be, through to widespread confusion over what exactly it is that universal Credit represents. However, the further you dive into the minutiae of the benefits system, more specific the questions become. this is certainly the case with Universal Credit, and many people need their payments made on a different schedule, so this is naturally one of the main queries that claimants have.

Is it possible to have Universal Credits payments made weekly?

In short, the answer is: yes, you can receive Universal Credits payments weekly. However, this is in highly specific circumstances, and for the majority of people it is highly unlikely that you will be eligible, or event considered for weekly payments.

To be considered for weekly Universal Credit payments, the DWP needs to consider yourself or your family under threat due to one of the following issues:

  • drug, alcohol or other addiction problems
  • learning difficulties, including literacy or numeracy problems
  • severe or multiple debt problems
  • being in temporary or supported accommodation
  • homelessness
  • domestic violence or abuse
  • a mental health condition
  • rent arrears
  • threat of eviction
  • repossession
  • you are aged 16 or 17
  • you are young and leaving care
  • your family has multiple and complex needs

The above are known as Tier 1 factors, and they may also take into account what are known as Tier 2 factors, which are outlined below:

  • having no bank account
  • third party deductions from your benefit. These are deductions to pay things like fuel bill arrears, and certain ongoing costs
  • being a refugee or asylum seeker
  • having a history of rent arrears
  • previous homelessness or living in supported accommodation
  • disability
  • having just left prison or hospital
  • recent bereavement
  • language skills, for example, if English isn’t your first language
  • having been in the armed forces
  • not being in education, employment or training

These will be considered during your interview when beginning to claim Universal Credit, and there may be other steps before you are moved on to weekly Universal Credits payments. these may include paying your landlord the rent directly, for example. Even then, it is likely that you would be moved from the monthly payment schedule onto a fortnightly Universal Credit payment. It seems that only in the most extreme of circumstances will you be considered for weekly Universal Credits payments.

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