Benefits and support

Short-term benefit advance

If you’re waiting for your first benefit payment and don’t have enough money to cover food and essential items such as rent, gas and electric you can ask your local Job Centre for a short-term advance.

You can apply for a short-term benefit advance if you are in financial need and either you have:

  • made a new claim for a benefit and you are waiting for your first payment.
  • had a significant change in your circumstances that means your benefit will go up by a large amount and you can’t wait until the next payment.

If you're awarded an advance payment you'll have to pay it back out of your future benefit payments.  This means you'll get a smaller benefit payment while you pay back the advance payment.

How to apply

You can apply in person at your local Jobcentre or you can call the helpline that deals with the benefit you are claiming. Visit GOV.UK for more information on short-term benefit advances and useful contact numbers.

Please note, if you are waiting for your first Universal Credit payment please read the guidance on applying for an advance payment on GOV.UK.