2. Using your online account
Your online account
You will use your online Universal Credit account to:
- keep a record of the things you’ve done to prepare or look for work
- send messages to your work coach and read messages they send you
- report a change of circumstances
- record childcare costs
- provide details about a health condition or disability
- see how much your Universal Credit payments are
- check what you have agreed to do in your Claimant Commitment
Record of your activities
Things you need to do whilst on Universal Credit are set out in a ‘to do’ list on your online account. This can be things you need to do to complete your claim, or things that you have agreed to do as part of your Claimant Commitment.
When you complete one of these tasks it will move from your ‘to do’ list to your ‘journal’. Your journal is your record of everything you’ve done whilst claiming Universal Credit.
If you are required to look for work, you will set up an account on a website called Find a job. You can use this site to look for work and keep a record of some of the things you’ve done to find a job.
You can also use the journal to send messages to your work coach, and they can use it to reply or send their own messages to you. These online conversations will be stored here so that you and your work coach can look back to see what you have agreed.
You should use the journal to tell your work coach about things such as job applications, job interviews and any training you have done. You can also use it to ask them questions. If your work coach has something they want to share with you – such as a CV you have been working on together – this will also be stored here.
Your online account will show your Universal Credit payments. It breaks down your payment so you know why you are getting that amount – for example, if you are getting payments to help with housing or childcare costs, or if money has been taken off to pay back an advance.
Your payment will usually be shown a few days before the money is available in your chosen account.
Reporting a change in circumstances
If you have a change in circumstances, you will need to report this in your online account. A change of circumstances may include:
- finding or finishing a job
- changes to your earnings (only if you’re self-employed)
- having a child
- moving in with your partner
- starting to care for a child or disabled person
- moving to a new address
- changing your bank details
- your rent going up or down
- changes to your health condition
- becoming too ill to work or meet your work coach