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Assessment periods

Your personal circumstances will be assessed on a monthly basis to work out the amount of UC you will get. Find out more.

The Universal Credit (UC) assessment period is the time during which your personal circumstances are assessed to work out the amount of UC you will get.

Each assessment period lasts one calendar month and your first assessment period starts on the date you make your claim. You will usually be paid your first payment 7 days after the end of your first assessment period and UC will then be paid on the same date each month.

For example, if you claimed UC on 14 June 2018 your first assessment period would be from 14 June 2018 to 13 July 2018 with your first payment on 20 July 2018.

Your second assessment period would be from 14 July 2018 to 13 August 2018 with your second payment on 20 August 2018 and so on.

If your pay date is on a weekend or bank holiday you will be paid on the last working day before that date.

If your payment date is on the 29, 30 or 31 of a month and the current month has fewer days you will be paid on the last day of the month. The amount of UC you get will not change to take account of different number of days in a month.

Changes in circumstances

Changes in your circumstances during an assessment period can affect your monthly UC payment.

These changes can include:

  • Starting or finishing work
  • Moving house
  • Your rent going up or down
  • Having a baby
  • Your partner or a child or young person you are responsible for passing away.

A change of circumstance takes effect from the start of the assessment period in which it happens. This can lead to an increase or decrease in UC for you. It is your responsibility to report a change of circumstance.

If your partner or a child or young person you are responsible for passes away the standard allowance for a couple or child amount can continue to be included in your award for the remainder of the assessment period in which they died and for the following two assessment periods.  You may also be entitled to bereavement related benefits.

No entitlement to UC due to income

If you have no entitlement to UC due to income received during your assessment period your UC claim will be closed down and you will need to make a new claim via your online journal.

When you click to make a new claim you will not need to re-enter your details unless there is a change of circumstances. You should not need to go to the Jobcentre as your ID should already have been accepted but a face-to-face meeting might be required for a claimant commitment.

If you are affected by this you should reclaim UC straight away. You may be eligible for a UC Advance or Budgeting Advance depending on your circumstances.

If you have no money for food, gas or electric you may be entitled to a crisis grant. Crisis grants do not have to be paid back and will only be considered if a UC Advance has been applied for (paid and spent or refused).

Making a complaint

If you are not happy about the service you have received from Universal Credit including how you have been treated, mistakes that have been made, unreasonable delays or not being kept informed you can complain online.

Last modified on 30 November 2020

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