Home Business Universal Credit: Britons can set up Alternative Payment Arrangement – check eligibility

Universal Credit: Britons can set up Alternative Payment Arrangement – check eligibility


Universal Credit payments can provide significant support to people who are on a low income, or individuals who have found themselves out of work. The payments, overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), have offered vital aid particularly in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. As many people struggle financially, it is worth noting the DWP’s help does not just extend to a single monthly payment of Universal Credit.

Instead, the Government acknowledges some people may need to put into place an alternative payment arrangement which better suits their needs.

An alternative payment arrangement, otherwise known as an APA, can provide help to those who, for a variety of reasons, would be unable to manage a single monthly payment. 

An alternative payment arrangement can help those who have had trouble budgeting when receiving a payout each month.

It can also provide important support if there is a risk of financial harm to the claimant concerned or their family.

READ MORE: State pension UK: Could you be entitled to Additional State Pension?

Tier two factors, however, mean a person may need an APA, but it is considered less likely to be needed than someone on tier one.

Factors considered within this tier include: having no bank account, a history of rent arrears, a recent bereavement, not being in education or employment, or third party deductions from a benefit.

Ultimately, though, it will be down to a person’s individual circumstances when thinking about if an alternative payment arrangement suits their needs.

There are a number of types of alternative payment arrangements a person could get on Universal Credit.

They could be identified by a work coach, or alternatively, a claimant may raise the issue themselves. 

The Government has said alternative payment arrangements are considered on a case-by-case basis.

It may be that a claimant can have one or more APA in place based on their individual circumstances. 

Paying Universal Credit housing costs to a landlord is always considered as the top priority, followed by more frequent payments if necessary.

A split payment of an award between partners will only be considered in very particular circumstances.

Do you have a money dilemma which you’d like a financial expert’s opinion on? If you would like to ask one of our finance experts a question, please email your query to [email protected]


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