The rules on universal credit payments are set out in the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.380/2013).

NB: See below for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland and legislation that is specific to Scotland only.

Time of payments

Regulation 45 of SI.No.380/2013

General provision that benefit is to be paid in accordance with an award ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’.

Direct credit transfer

Regulation 46 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out who the Secretary of State can pay benefit to via a bank or other account.

Specific rules on payment of universal credit

Regulation 47 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out detailed rules on payment of universal credit including that it is generally paid monthly in arrears on each assessment period and the formula for payment following a superseding decision.

Fractional amounts of benefits

Regulation 53 of SI.No.380/2013

Provides for fractional amounts to be disregarded if less than a penny and otherwise counted as a penny.

Payment to person aged under 18

Regulation 54 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out rules on payment to a person aged under 18.

Extinguishing right to payment where not obtained

Regulation 55 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out rules on right to payment being extinguished if not obtained within 12 months of date on which right is treated as having arisen.

Payments on death

Regulation 56 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out the rules on payment to a person appointed by the Secretary of State and their right to proceed with claim and issues relating to revisions, supersessions and appeals.

In Northern Ireland, SR.No.220/2016 makes provision in relation to payments that is largely equivalent to that in Great Britain. Provision for additional payment flexibilities in Scotland is made by the Universal Credit (Claims and Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 (SSI.No.227/2017).

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

Advice for decision making

Chapter B1

Guidance to decision makers on when and how payments are made.

DWP guidance from

Money guidance and Alternative Payment Arrangements

​Sets out guidance including on direct payments to landlords and split payments.

DWP guidance from

Method of payment in universal credit

​Sets out standard payment arrangements and details of situations which may require a payment by exception.

​Alternative Payment Arrangements

​Sets out the different types of alternative payment arrangements and when they may be applicable.

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

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