Ask CPAG Online - How should you apply for a UC Alternative Payment Arrangement?
This section looks at how you should apply for a universal credit (UC) Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA).
There are no rules or law about this and essentially it is a matter of making your request to the DWP with the appropriate information and evidence.
See When can you get an Alternative Payment Arrangement? for the criteria you need to meet.
Note that the DWP can also make APAs without an application, where, for example, they have information from you, your representative or your landlord which suggests that an APA is appropriate.
When can you apply for an APA?
You can ask for an APA at any time during your UC claim. This could be when you have your initial interview with a DWP 'work coach' after you have submitted your claim, or at any subsequent point during your claim. Note that the DWP will not start more frequent than monthly payments until the end of your first assessment period.
How should an application be made?
You can apply in person at your work search interview with your UC work coach..
You can also ring the UC Helpline on 0800 328 9344.
A landlord can apply downloading and submitting form UC47 by email or post.
You may want to check that your application has been received and is being dealt with after a few days (particularly if you made your application in person or by telephone) by ringing the UC Helpline, and may need to 'chase up' the DWP for a decision within a reasonable period.
What evidence should you provide?
You will need to explain why you need an APA when you make your application. Supporting evidence from, for example, a support worker, social worker or landlord could help your case, depending on the circumstances.
See When can you get an Alternative Payment Arrangment? for details of the criteria you will need to satisfy. If your circumstances are covered by the Guidance, you could point this out, but otherwise you could refer to the law and show why an APA would help you and be in the best interests of yourself and / or your family.
Where you, or your landlord, is requesting a 'managed payment', the DWP will normally require proof of your rent arrears (e.g. a rent book or rent statement showing the amount of rent payable and the amount outstanding) and a full breakdown of how the arrears have been calculated and over what period.
Who decides your application?
Decisions are made by 'UC Agents', normally a DWP decision maker or work coach, on behalf of he Secretary of State. There are no rules about how you and when you should be notified, but you should receive adequate notification and explanation within a reasonable time.
See What problems can arise with Alternative Payment Arrangements? if you are unhappy with the process or decision.