A short term benefit advance is a monetary advance given for a temporary period to a claimant who is receiving government benefits. There are certain situations in which a short term benefit advance is useful; for example, when a claimant has applied for a particular benefit but will not actually need it until they receive their first payment. The advance is also useful in situations where a person has experienced an unexpected change in their circumstances (such as a medical condition or birth of a child) that will increase the benefit amount that they are entitled to receive. Who Is Eligible For A Short Term Benefit Advance? The Short Term Benefit Advance is available to anyone who is currently receiving a government benefit, such as the Carer’s Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or state pension. The claimant must be able to demonstrate that they are in true financial need and that not receiving the Short Term Benefit Advance will put them and their dependents at serious risk to their health and safety. An example of such a risk is if the claimant is unable to pay their gas, electricity or heating expenses. How Much Can A Claimant Receive? The most amount of money that a claimant can receive for a benefits advance will be based on several factors, such as the personal allowance they are entitled to receive as part of their benefits and the total days for which they were due the benefit. The benefit advance is treated similar to regular benefits payments, so claimants must be aware that there may be a benefit cap in place which limits the total amount that can be received. How To Claim A Short Term Benefit Advance To claim a Short Term Benefit Advance, a claimant must declare their need by telephoning the relevant contact centre or by visiting their local Jobcentre. This request will be submitted to the relevant benefit centre for a decision. Claimants in Northern Ireland should contact the Finance Support Service to request the advance. There are no special documents or application forms that are required to claim a Short Term Benefit Advance, since the government offices will already have the clamaint’s information on file. The claimant only needs to provide details of the benefit that they are currently receiving, such as Job Seeker’s Allowance, and state why they need an advance. Claimants who are eligible will usually receive the advance by the next working day after they have made the claim. When Does The Advance Have To Be Repaid? The advance will be paid directly to the claimant’s bank account or post office account and the claimant will have to repay any amount that is given in the advance. The repayments will be made by monthly deductions taken from the benefit payments that have been set up for the claimant. In most cases, the advance must be repaid within three months; however, this may be extended for up to six months in certain circumstances. How To Challenge A Refusal For An Advance If a claimant’s request for a Short Term Benefit Advance has been refused, they can request that the submission be reconsidered if the decision maker has not considered all of the relevant facts or if information is missing. In this situation, the claim for an advance will be considered by another person who will review all of the facts. The claimant does not have the right to appeal the amount of the Short Term Benefit Advance that they have been given or a refusal to offer the advance.