A Short Term Benefit Advance can help if you are claiming a new benefit but might be in financial hardship whilst you are waiting for the money to come through. Although, it is important to bear in mind that the benefit must have actually been awarded or that your advisor thinks it highly likely that it will be.The advance can also be awarded if you are entitled to an increase in an existing benefit due to a change in circumstances but are still waiting for it to come through. If technical problems prevent your benefit being paid on the expected date, you might also be entitled to claim the advance to see you through until the benefit can be paid. Read on to find out all about the benefit and how to make a claim.
A Short Term Benefit Advance can be paid to claimants of the following benefits:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
- State Pension
Universal credit claimants can also be eligible for a Short Term Benefit Advance, although this loan is known as a Universal Credit Advance. As it is designed to prevent financial hardship whilst waiting for a benefit payment to come through, it is impossible to claim the advance without first making a claim for one of these benefits. To be eligible you also need to prove that there is a serious risk to the health of you or your family. There is no list of situations that demonstrate risk to health but you need to be ready to prove hardship to the decision maker when you apply. As an example, think of situations like not having money to pay for groceries or the gas or electricity bill.
Calling the Short Term Benefit Advance contact number
The amount of Short Term Benefit Advance that you are entitled to depends on the amount of benefit that you will receive once it comes through. The advance will be calculated based on the amount of benefit that you are entitled to and the number of days that you have been entitled to it for. As it is calculated based on what you will receive from qualifying benefits the benefit cap, which limits the total benefit payment any individual can receive will be applicable. Any other benefits you are entitled to, however, should remain unaffected as the effect on them should already have been taken into consideration with the application of the qualifying benefit.
If you are successful in your claim for a Short Term Benefit Advance the money will be paid straight into your bank or building society, post office account or through Simple Pay if you are unable to open an account. It is normally paid into the account where the qualifying benefit will be paid once it is set up. The advances are treated as urgent, so if you make a successful claim the money is usually paid on the same day that the claim was made. Once you are in receipt of monies from the benefit you are due then any advance you have been paid will be deducted automatically from it. This is usually done over a three-month period although this can be extended to six-months if extreme hardship can be demonstrated. As the advance needs to be recovered, before awarding the benefit any other Social Fund Loans or other Short Term Benefit Advances that you have will be taken into account.
In order to make a claim for a Short Term Benefit Advance, you need to speak to somebody at the contact centre for the relevant benefit that you are claiming for. So, if you need the advance to cover Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance you should call the JobCentre Plus helpline or visit your local Jobcentre. Universal Benefit Advance payments are handled by the JobCentre too. For Carer’s Allowance you would need to contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit whereas for Pension Credit or State Pension you should contact the Pension Service.