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Help available while your claim is processed

If you are struggling to manage while you are waiting for your first payment of Universal Credit, you can ask for a short-term benefit advance from the Jobcentre.

The amount you might get can be up to 100% of the overall estimated Universal Credit amount. It is usually paid back from future Universal Credit payments over a period of 12 months.

You can also request a budgeting advance from the Jobcentre. This is for expenses such as household equipment, and you will need to pay it back. It replaces the Social Fund budgeting loans for people who have been on Universal Credit for 6 months.

Getting help with budgeting

Help and budgeting advice is available from Money Manager.

If you need more help to manage your budget, the council offers a limited service. For information about this, call us on 0191 433 3677. 

We also offer general welfare and benefit advice and debt advice, where we can help check you are claiming everything you are entitled to and give you advice and support when dealing with debt. If you want some help call us on 0191 433 3677 or email

Citizens Advice Gateshead may also be able to offer budgeting advice and guidance. 

What if I get into rent arrears or struggle to budget?

  • You or your landlord can ask for the housing element of Universal Credit to be paid direct to them
  • You can ask for more frequent payments 
  • The payment can be split between partners

Discretionary Housing Payments 

If you are struggling to meet a shortfall in your rent, you may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Information for landlords

Universal Credit and rented housing: Guide for Landlords

Information for landlords

Find out more about Universal Credit

Universal Credit & You  

Money Advice Service, Universal Credit explained

Contact us

If you are unsure whether you are affected, contact the Benefits Section:
0191 433 4646

If you are a Gateshead Council tenant:
0191 433 6150

For help with claiming online, and personal budgeting:
0191 433 3673 / 3676 / 3876