The assessment period and payment structure of Universal Credit creates a fixed period between date of entitlement and the first payment.
The policy intention is that claimants receive the first payment 5 weeks after their date of entitlement (6 weeks if waiting days are served). The assessment period runs for a full calendar month from the date of entitlement, and the UC pay date will be 7 calendar days after the end of the assessment period. This mirrors the world of work and allows for a 1 month period in which to gather information about a claimants’ earnings. Advances and budgeting support are available to support claimants during this period. Advances can provide up to 50% of a claimants indicative award straight away.
The latest internal data, for week ending 19 June, suggests some 80% of cases were paid in full at the end of the first assessment period. For the 20% of cases who were not paid in full we estimate around a third have not signed up to their claimant commitment so cannot be paid until they have. The other two thirds have an outstanding verification issue, such as providing bank statements, evidence of childcare costs, or proof of rent. Many of these claimants receive a part-payment where elements of the claim have been verified.