Welfare Benefits

Welfare Benefits update: Coronavirus

The Law Centre is still open but unfortunately we can’t offer face to face appointments at the moment.

Unfortunately we are unable to take on new cases at the moment, we hope to be able to do so in the near future.

On Thursdays we have an advice line between 2-5pm to give advice on Benefit problems including Universal Credit. Please call us on 020 8148 5272.

Form Filling Clinic on Wednesdays

We have a weekly form filling clinic on Wednesdays, restarting on 21st October and we are able to help complete PIP, ESA and UC50 capability for work forms only. Your form will be completed with our volunteers over the phone. Please call our reception for an appointment on 020 3880 1727 or email hflaw@hflaw.org.uk.

Advance Payments of Universal Credit

After you’ve claimed Universal Credit and verified your identity there is usually a wait until your first payment. The reason for this is that Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears. The months are split into ‘Assessment Periods’ and start from the date of your claim.

For example, if you claim on the 8th of the month then your ‘Assessment Period’ will run from the 8th of one month to the 7th of the next. Your payments are then normally paid a week after the end of your ‘Assessment Period’.

If you need money before this you can ask for an Advance Payment, and you can include this request in a message you leave on your journal about your identity check. In effect you are borrowing money from your future payments, and this means that your future payments will be reduced to repay the advance.

At the moment Advance Payments need to be repaid within 12 months, and so if you receive a lot in your Advance Payment then the reductions in your future payments can be very high. This might make future months more even more difficult.

There are details here on how to ask for an Advance Payment.