Universal Credit can take money off your payment if you have a debt. You will see this on your Universal Credit statement.

To find your statement, sign into your online account and go to ‘Payments’. On your statement, look for ‘What we take off – deductions’.

How much can be taken from your Universal Credit payments?

The most that can be taken from your Universal Credit payments each month is 25% of your Universal Credit Standard Allowance (the basic amount of Universal Credit you are entitled to, before extra money for things like childcare and housing costs is added) unless last resort deductions are being taken. 

In this case, your deductions may be more than 25% of your Standard Allowance.

If you are part of a joint claim for Universal Credit, you and your partner will receive a joint Universal Credit payment for your household.

If you or your partner have debts or deductions, these will be taken from your Universal Credit payments before you get them.

There is a priority order for deductions in Universal Credit. However, it will only be applied if there is insufficient Universal Credit in payment to make all the deductions needed or if the total deductions would otherwise exceed 25% of the benefit unit’s Universal Credit Standard Allowance.

Types of debt

Advance payments

This is your repayment of a Universal Credit advance.

Universal Credit overpayment

This is when you have been paid too much Universal Credit. To find out more about your overpayment, sign into your online Universal Credit account. Go to your journal and look for a message about overpayments.

If you believe you have been overpaid but have not heard from Universal Credit, you need to contact Universal Credit to tell them about this.

Benefit overpayment

This is when you have been paid too much for any benefit other than Universal Credit. It includes Tax Credit and housing benefit overpayments.

Penalties can be added to a benefit overpayment.

If you have been overpaid, you will have a journal message or letter explaining what the overpayment is for.

If you believe you have been overpaid but have not heard from DWP, you must report it immediately. If not, you may be prosecuted or have to pay a penalty.

Recoverable hardship payment

You can apply for a hardship payment if your Universal Credit payment has been reduced because of a fraud penalty or sanction.

You will need to pay this back once your fraud penalty or sanction has ended. When the amount you pay back has been agreed it cannot be changed.

Budgeting and crisis loan repayment

This is your repayment of a budgeting or crisis loan. How much you pay back is agreed at the time you accept the loan.

Other debts you owe – ‘third party deductions’

Third party deductions are when money is taken off your Universal Credit to pay your debts for things including:

  • utilities, like electricity, gas and water
  • Council Tax
  • child maintenance
  • rent
  • service charges
  • court fines

Only 3 third party deductions can be taken at any one time.

Universal Credit will send you a message in your online journal when a third party deduction starts.