Help & Support

Open a bank account

To receive Universal Credit and other benefits, you’ll need to have a bank or building society account, or an account with an alternative provider like a credit union. Universal Credit arrived in Wolverhampton for some new claimants on February 8 2016.

Universal Credit will be paid directly into your chosen account. You will need to have an account that can receive automated payments.

With Universal Credit the types of bank accounts that are advocated are:

  • Current account
  • Basic bank account
  • ‘Jam jar’ account (also called a rent account or a budgeting account)
  • Some types of credit union account
  • Post Office® card account, and
  • Prepaid cards

Here you can read more information on these types of account.

Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears. You will be told the date you should get your first payment and your likely amount before you submit your claim. Your payments will usually be calculated from the day you submit your claim and you will get your first payment 7 days after the end of your first assessment period.

Your payment will then be made on the same date every month while you remain entitled to Universal Credit.

Setting up payments for rent and other bills

Ideally your account should also allow you to make automated payments out of the account – such as Direct Debits or standing orders – for bills such as rent, gas and electricity.

Only these accounts allow you to make outgoing automated payments:

  • Current account
  • Basic bank account
  • Jam jar account, and
  • Credit union account

The Post Office® card account and some prepaid cards do not allow you to make outgoing automated payments.

The Key Points

To receive Universal Credit you will need a bank account or equivalent to receive Universal Credit payments.
With Universal Credit you’ll be responsible for paying your rent rather than having it paid directly to your landlord.
Universal Credit means big changes to the way you receive your benefits.
Make sure you have a suitable account such as a bank, building society or credit union account, for your monthly payments. Get ahead by working out your monthly budget and ensuring your bills are paid promptly.

At a glance summary...

  • Choosing a Bank Account Universal Credit will mean you need a bank account or equivalent to receive your benefits.
  • How will I be paid? Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears.
  • Paying my rent When Universal Credit comes in, you’ll be responsible for paying your rent rather than having it paid directly to your landlord.
  • Be prepared Get ahead by making sure you have a suitable account and work out your monthly budget.