DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Our Ref: FOI 2051
DATE: 20 May 2013
Dear Glenys Harriman,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received 02 May 2013. You asked; Please could you clarify the conditions of entitlement to a Short Term Benefit Advance of
Universal Credit, with respect to the requirement that a claimant must be likely to be entitled to
UC. I have been unable to source the guidance or regulations stating this. Please (a) confirm
whether a claimant currently having their JSA or ESA sanctioned, and/or who has failed to
meet conditionality requirements on such legacy benefits, will not qualify for a TBA of UC on
migration; and (b) whether this exclusion of a STBA for UC extends to the whole of the UC
including housing cost element) and (c) if so, under which regulations.
The qualifying criteria for entitlement to a Universal Credit Advance (new claim) are that the
claimant must demonstrate:
a 'likely' underlying entitlement to benefit. The Decision Maker, on behalf of the
Secretary of State must be satisfied that the claimant is entitled to benefit, or is likely to
be entitled to benefit (this includes providing satisfactory evidence of identity, having a
valid national insurance number and satisfying any other eligibility conditions);
the ability to take and repay the advance within the specified period, whilst repaying
previous debt; and
they meet specified criteria that show they are in financial need as defined by
Regulation 7 of the SS (PoAB) Regs 2013 and have no access to other sources of
support, such as tax credits, other income, savings, final wages etc.
The requirement that a claimant must be likely to be entitled to UC is covered in regulation
5(1)(b) of the Social Security (Payments On Account of Benefit) Regulations 2013.
Further information about Universal Credit Advances can be found on the Gov.UK site on the
If a claimant has a sanction applied to their existing benefit, when they move to Universal
Credit (UC), they will be able to request a Universal Credit Advance (benefit transfer), which
would usually be an amount of up to 50% of the UC award, to help make the transition from
fortnightly benefits to monthly payments of UC. An advance would only be made if the
Secretary of State is satisfied that an amount of UC would be payable but would be based on
the total UC amount paid, including all elements of the award, such as the housing costs
For example, if a claimant with an outstanding ESA sanction makes a UC claim and after
application of the ESA sanction they are entitled to a monthly UC payment of £200, the
claimant will be able to receive up to 50% of this amount i.e. £100.
In cases where an existing benefit sanction has been applied to the UC claim and there is no
amount of UC payable in respect of the first assessment period - for example, if the application
of the existing benefit sanction reduced the UC award to nil - they will not be able to receive a
Universal Credit Advance (benefit transfer).
The power to make a Universal Credit Advance (benefit transfer) is in Regulation 19 of the
Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2013/386.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
DWP Central FoI Team
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