Advances

The rules on universal credit advance payments and budgeting advances are set out in the Social Security (Payments on Account of Benefit) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.383/2013) and the Social Security (Overpayments and Recovery) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.384/2013).

NB: See below for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland.

Advance payments

Regulation 5 of SI.No.383/2013

Provides the Secretary of State with the power to make advance payments if it appears benefit entitlement rules are fulfilled and there is a financial need.

​Regulation 6 of SI.No.383/2013

Provides the Secretary of State with discretion to make an advance payment in cases where a change of circumstances increases future universal credit entitlement.

Regulation 7 of SI.No.383/2013

Sets out the definition of financial need for an advance payment.

Regulation 8 of SI.No.383/2013

Sets out the requirement for claimants to have notice of liability to have deductions from subsequent payments of benefit to repay an advance payment.

Regulations 3, 10 and 11 of SI.No.384/2013

Set out the rules for recovery of advance payments under universal credit.

Budgeting advances

Regulation 12 and 13 of SI.No.383/2013

Set out the conditions for payment of budgeting advances to universal credit claimants and the earnings conditions.

Regulation 14 of SI.No.383/2013

​Sets out the conditions for the recovery of an advance and an obligation on the DWP to consider the reasonableness of recovery.

Regulation 15 of SI.No.383/2013

Sets out the minimum and maximum amounts payable by way of a budgeting advance.

​Regulation 16 of SI.No.383/2013

Sets out how capital may affect entitlement to or payment rate of a budgeting advance.

​Regulation 17 of SI.No.383/2013

Sets out the requirement for claimants to have notice of liability to have deductions from subsequent payments of benefit to repay a budgeting advance.

In Northern Ireland, SR.No.223/2016 and SR.No.224/2016 make provisions that are largely equivalent to those in Great Britain.

Further explanation of the legislation is set out in guidance. Please note, however, guidance is not binding and cannot override the legislation.

DWP guidance on gov.uk

​Universal credit advances

​Provides details of the application process for advance payments and budgeting advances and of eligibility, payment and recovery practices.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Advances: New claim

​Sets out guidance to DWP staff on new claim advances including on decision making practice, amounts and recovery.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Advances: Benefit transfer

​Sets out guidance to DWP staff on advance payments in cases of legacy benefit claimants transferring to universal credit including that the DWP assumes claimants meet the financial need condition.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Advances: Change of circumstances

​Sets out guidance to DWP staff on advance payments in cases of change of circumstances including on eligibility, decision making practice, amounts and recovery.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Advances: Budgeting advances

​Sets out guidance to DWP staff on budgeting advances including on eligibility, decision making practice, amounts and recovery.

Case law​ provides further interpretation of the legislation and establishes legal precedent.

We’re not aware of any case law relating to this issue.