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A Short Term Benefit Advance is a payment made in advance of your first scheduled payment, on a new benefit claim. This advance payment is made in exceptional circumstances and is to help financially cover any costs while your claim is being processed.

In the following circumstances getting a Short Term Benefit Advance may benefit you:

If you have made a new benefit claim and are in immediate need of financial assistance for bills etc.
If you have a change in circumstances and are now entitled to a higher benefit level.
If there are technical problems with payments. A technical issue with the claims center for example.

Note that getting a Short Term Benefit Advance is a loan. It will be repaid from your future benefit payments.

Who is entitled to a Short Term Benefit Advance?

The following benefits allow the claimant to request a Short Term Benefit Advance:

  • Universal Credit
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • State Pension
  • Carers Allowance

You must be claiming one of the above benefits to make a claim for a Short Term Benefit Advance.

You must be able to show that you are in financial distress. The adviser for your claim will ask about your circumstances to assess your needs. They will also ask how much you require to cover your current circumstances.

If you have claimed a benefit and have not had a decision, then it will be up to the decision maker to determine if you are likely to receive your benefit. If they decide you are not entitled to a benefit, you will not receive the Short Term Benefit Advance.

Getting a Short Term Benefit Advance; How much could it give me?

The amount you will receive for your benefit advance is based on two factors:

  1. The number of days you have been due your benefit.
  2. Your personal allowance of the benefit you have claimed.

If you are paying a previous Short Term Benefit Advance or Social Fund Loan, these will also affect the amount you can receive.

Note that your Short Term Benefit Advance may count towards your benefit cap.

Payments are made directly to your bank, building society or Post Office account. They are made either the same day or the next working day.

What process do I use for getting a Short Term Benefit Advance?

All claims should be made to your respective DWP department.

What if I need to challenge a Short Term Benefit Advance Decision?

If you are refused, you can ask for the decision to be reconsidered. This should be done at the time you are given the decision. For example, if incorrect information was used by the decision maker then you could request a reconsideration.

Note that there is no right of appeal on any decision made. After any reconsideration the decision is final. The only further recourse would be via court. This process is called a Judicial Review and would require specialist advice.