New to Universal Credit

2. Making your claim

Most people will make their Universal Credit claim online, where you can also find support to help you make your claim.

If you are part of a couple and living in the same household, you will need to make a joint claim for Universal Credit. You will receive a single monthly payment for your whole household.

Find out more about making a claim, including how to make a joint claim as a couple.

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 appointment.

Get Help to Claim:

If you live in England and Wales

If you live in Scotland

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

Using your online account is often the fastest way to get in contact with DWP. Our telephone lines are available for our most vulnerable customers, but using our online service remains the fastest way to contact DWP.

New Style JSA and New Style ESA

If you have worked as an employee and paid enough National Insurance contributions you may also be able to get either New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You will apply for New Style JSA or New Style ESA separately to Universal Credit. You can apply for them and Universal Credit at the same time. If you get these benefits at the same time as you get Universal Credit, your Universal Credit payments will be reduced. For every £1 you receive from them, your Universal Credit payment will be reduced by £1.