In order to get Universal Credit, eligible applicants must register online and submit their claim.

There will then be a one-month assessment period, during which a workplace interview will take place.

At this interview, the applicant will agree their responsibilities with their work coach.

This is known as a Claimant Commitment – something which they must meet in order to receive Universal Credit payments.

It usually takes around five weeks for an applicant to get their first payment.

This includes the one-month assessment period, and u pt seven days for the payment to reach one’s account.

Following the first payment, a person will be paid on the same date of every month.

Should this date fall on a weekend or a bank holiday, the payment will be made on the first working day prior to this.

Last week, MPs demanded that the first payment period is slashed from five weeks to one.

Frank Field and Heidi Allen made the proposal in a new report, which is titled “The other Britain and the failure of the welfare state”.

Among the 24 recommendations put forward by the MPs, is the suggestion that Universal Credit payments should begin within a week of registering for the benefit.

“UC payments should begin within a week of registering for the benefit,” the recommendation read.

“Any over or underpayment can be adjusted gradually in subsequent payments.”

Under the current system, a person may be able to apply for an advance on their first payment, in order to help with bills or other costs ahead of the first payment.

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However, this is a loan and will begin being paid back out of one’s first payment.

The Gov.uk website explains that the Universal Credit recipient chooses how many months they pay back the advance over, however this must be repaid within 12 months.

Interest is not payable on the repayment of this advance.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: “Tackling poverty will always be a priority for this government and we have already said the benefit freeze is coming to an end.

“But we know some families need more support which is why we spend £95billion a year on working-age benefits and have made 100 per cent Universal Credit advances available from day one.”



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