2. How to claim
Setting up an online account
You will need to open an online account before you make your claim. This short video will show you what you need to do to set up an online Universal Credit account.
Once you have set up your account you can then begin your Universal Credit claim. It is recommended that you make your claim as soon as your online account has been set up.
Making an online claim
This video will show you how to make an online claim using your Universal Credit account.
If you are claiming as a couple you will each make your own claims, and these will be joined together at the end to make them a joint claim. The system will show you how to do this.
Completing an online claim takes about 20 minutes for a single person, and around an hour if you are claiming as a couple.
Verifying your identity
Once you have submitted your claim you will need to provide information so that the Department for Work and Pensions know that you are who you say you are, and it’s not someone else pretending to be you.
You may be able to verify your identity online using a system called GOV.UK Verify. It uses companies such as the Post Office or Barclays to confirm your identity to the Department for Work and Pensions. You will be taken through this process by your online account. Once you’ve signed up to GOV.UK Verify you can use it to access a variety of government services.
Watch this video to see how the GOV.UK Verify process works.
You will need to bring some documents with you to your first appointment at the jobcentre even if you have verified your identity online. What you need to bring with you will be explained to you when you make your claim.
Not everyone will be able to verify their identity online. Don’t worry if you can’t – it just means that you will need to bring your documents to the jobcentre instead.
If your circumstances mean you don’t need to come to the jobcentre, your online account will be used to explain what you need to do instead.