Universal Credit claimants hit by an allowance cut of more than £80 a month can apply for emergency cash to help them get by.

Six million people on Universal Credit have seen their allowance cut ahead of winter as people now look to make extra savings.

However, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is offering £800 emergency cash for those who apply, Birmingham Live reports.

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It comes as the Government has offered a £500 million support fund for the winter months while also encouraging people to get into work.

Footballer Marcus Rashford warned that families on the breadline will have to choose between heating and eating this winter, days after the temporary £20-a-week increase in the welfare payment was stopped from October 6.

Mr Rashford, a campaigner against poverty, said: "The cost of living has definitely increased. You know, people in households are having to decide - it reminds me of my situation when I was younger, to be fair - you've got to decide between are you going to eat or are you going to be warm in the house?

"And these are decisions that you don't want people to go through, never mind children, and, you know, there's other stuff - there's the price of fuel and electricity."

But the DWP says other help is available including emergency payments for those in urgent need of cash.

Budgeting Advances

The DWP offering £800 emergency cash to Universal Credit claimants
The DWP offering £800 emergency cash to Universal Credit claimants

Those on Universal Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Pension Credit can apply for what's called a Budgeting Advance.

You can get up to £812 under the scheme. It is designed to help with:

The DWP points out that a Budgeting Advance is a loan, and you will need to repay it through a deduction from your regular Universal Credit payments.

The smallest amount you can borrow is £100. You can get up to:

How much you can get depends on whether you can pay the loan back, or have any savings over £1,000. The amount of loan offered is reduced by £1 for every pound you have in savings over the £1,000 threshold.

You have to repay the Budgeting Advance within 12 months. And if you move to another benefit, or come off welfare altogether, it still has to be repaid through other arrangements.

The DWP is able to recover what you owe by contacting your employer to dock repayments from your wages, or by getting debt collectors involved.

To get a Budgeting Advance, you must have:

To apply for a Budgeting Advance contact your local Jobcentre Plus work coach.

Budgeting Loans

A similar amount of cash - up to £812 - is also available to those on some benefits in the form of a Budgeting Loan, the new name for what was once known as a crisis loan.

A Budgeting Loan can help pay for:

To get a Budgeting Loan you must have been getting one or more of these benefits for the past six months:

Budgeting Loans are not available if

You can apply online for a Budgeting Loan here

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