Helping someone claim


The Universal Credit guide for stakeholders and partners provides information designed for organisations that might support people who are claiming Universal Credit. It includes links to guides, tools and reference materials that will help your staff and customers understand Universal Credit.

Links to some of the most frequently used content are included here. Visit the guide for stakeholders and partners to access the full range of materials.

 

Contacting DWP on behalf of someone else

In some instances, third parties such as family, friends or organisations may want to contact the Department for Work and Pensions on behalf of someone who needs help in managing their Universal Credit claim.

Before you call

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will usually need explicit consent from the claimant before talking to a third party (including family members) about their claim.

The claimant can provide consent through their online journal or by calling the Universal Credit Service Centre. The claimant will need to provide:

  • The name of the person they are giving consent for
  • The name of the organisation (if applicable)
  • Brief details about the issue they are giving consent to talk about. DWP will not be able to talk about wider issues, so it’s important to be clear what the consent is being provided for.

Please read Universal Credit consent and disclosure of information and ensure appropriate actions have been taken before calling DWP.

When you call

Once this consent has been provided, you can call the Universal Credit Service Centre on 0800 328 5644.

You will need to listen carefully to the options to make sure you reach the case manager who will be best placed to help with your query. You will be asked some automated questions about the claimant, so please ensure you have the following information before calling:

  • The telephone number the claimant has registered with Universal Credit
  • Their postcode
  • The first line of their address
  • Their date of birth

Please note consent is not open ended. It usually lasts until either the specific request is completed, or to the end of the assessment period after the one in which the consent was given. This may mean the claimant has to give consent more than once.

 

Help with an application

If someone needs help with an application, they should ask straight away – the sooner they apply for Universal Credit, the sooner they will get their first payment.

There are 2 ways to get help with a Universal Credit application:

Help to Claim

Help to Claim can provide support in the early stages of a Universal Credit claim, from the online application, through to support with the application before the first full payment.

It’s a free, independent, confidential and impartial service provided by trained advisers from Citizens Advice. They can help with things like how to gather evidence for the application or how to prepare for the first jobcentre appointment.

Get Help to Claim:

If you live in England and Wales

If you live in Scotland

Universal Credit helpline

The applicant should contact the Universal Credit helpline if they:

  • cannot use digital services at all, this might be due to a disability or their circumstances
  • have a question about their claim and can’t access their online claim

 

Helping someone make a claim

Representing someone who feels unable to manage their claim themselves: Universal Credit consent and disclosure of information

Helping someone claim who has a disability or health condition: Universal Credit if you have a disability or health condition

Helping someone claim to pay their housing costs: Universal Credit and your home

Helping someone claim who is homeless or at risk of homelessness: Universal Credit and homeless people: guide for supporting organisations (or web version)

Helping someone claim who has a family:

 

Other types of help

Helping someone challenge a benefit decision (mandatory reconsideration)

Helping someone appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal

Helping someone complain about the service from the Department for Work and Pensions or from an organisation that provides its services

 

More information

Guidance for DWP staff who make decisions about benefits, pensions and allowances

Guidance for landlords whose tenants are claiming Universal Credit