1. Before you claim
Most people make their Universal Credit claim online. There is help available within the online claim form for people who need extra support.
Help with your application
If you need help with your application, ask straight away – the sooner you apply for Universal Credit, the sooner you get your first payment.
There are 2 ways to get help with your Universal Credit application:
Help to Claim
Help to Claim can support you in the early stages of your Universal Credit claim, from the online application, through to support with your application before your 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 your application or how to prepare for your first jobcentre appointment.
Get Help to Claim:
Universal Credit helpline
Contact the Universal Credit helpline if:
- you cannot use digital services at all, this might be due to disability or your circumstances
- you have a question about your claim and can’t access your 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. 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.
We are working hard to ensure the online application reflects these changes – in the meantime please do not call 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.
DWP will never text or email asking for personal information or bank details.
What you’ll need
It’s a good idea to have the following information with you when you make your claim. You should make sure that it is up to date before you start.
Some of this information may not be needed to start your claim, but you will need to provide it before you can receive your first Universal Credit payment.
If you aren’t able to provide this information it may mean that your first payment is delayed.
You will be asked for:
- your email address
- your telephone number
- your postcode
- your National Insurance number
- proof of your nationality
- your housing details
- details about people who live with you – such as your partner, children you are responsible for, or lodgers
- Child Benefit reference numbers, if you receive Child Benefit
- employer details, if you or your partner are working
- details about any earnings or other income you or your partner have
- details of any savings, investments or other capital you or your partner have
- details of any other benefits you receive
- information about your health
- details of the account your payments will go into, such as a bank, building society or credit union account. This will need to be a current account, not a savings account, and should be in your name. If you don’t have one, the Money Advice Service website can help you choose the account that’s right for you.
If you currently receive tax credits from HMRC please be aware that if you submit a claim for Universal Credit your tax credit award will end immediately. If your tax credit award ends it cannot be re-opened and it will not be possible to make a new tax credit claim in the future, even if you are not eligible for Universal Credit.
This video will explain what you need to do to apply for Universal Credit, including checking your eligibility, setting up an account and making an online claim. There are more videos on the How to claim page that take you through parts of the online claim in more detail.