Helping someone claim

3. Getting 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 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

During the coronavirus outbreak

To help us get through the unprecedented number of Universal Credit claims, we’ve changed how we process them. This means there is no need to call us. If we need to check any information provided as part of your claim with you – we will call you. Don’t worry, we are working hard to progress all of the claims. There is no need to contact us to check progress.

You should apply for Universal Credit online. You do not need to call DWP to arrange an appointment and you shouldn’t attend the jobcentre unless we ask you to. However, jobcentre staff will still meet vulnerable customers including those fleeing domestic abuse.

We will know that you have applied and will contact you if we need any more information from you to process any payment you are due. We will put a note into your online account and follow up with a phone call – this may appear as a private number. Please check your online account and look out for calls from us.

If you’ve recently applied for Universal Credit, your claim starts the day you submit your application online. This date is not reliant on your identity being verified online or linked to the date of any further contact. However, your identity will need to be verified before you can receive your first Universal Credit payment.

Depending on your circumstances, you might need to take part in a telephone interview with a work coach. We will contact you if this is the case – you do not need to call us.

If you can’t attend your telephone interview please let us know as soon as possible using your online account so that it can be rearranged. If we ask you to attend a telephone interview, your Universal Credit claim won’t be able to proceed until that interview has taken place.

DWP will never text or email asking for personal information or bank details.

If you cannot use digital services at all, Universal Credit applications can still be made over the phone.

If you’re a new customer and are having a problem verifying your identity online do not worry – your claim has been submitted. Your jobcentre will know you have applied online, they will call you if they need to confirm any information with you in order to progress your claim.

Our phone systems mean calls from us may display as 0800 numbers, or an unknown number. If you get a call from an unknown number following our message in your account please pick up, as it’s likely to be DWP. We will of course ensure that you know the call is genuine.

Please note, there are scams preying on people, so do not share information if you’re not sure the call is from DWP. If you are in any doubt, please ask the caller to post a specific form of words into your journal so you can be sure it’s us.

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