News story

Civil news: Home Office unique client number and CWA claims

Change of process in CWA reinforces importance of Home Office unique (UCN) client number in cost claims for immigration and asylum work.


A change has been made to the online contracted work and administration (CWA) system to try and ensure the Home Office UCN is entered when required.

Why are you doing this?

Making this change on 25 November 2016 will help to improve payment controls and support existing civil contractual requirements.

What is the change?

Providers using the generic default code ‘A0000000’ will see an error warning message. They will be given the option of clicking the ‘save’ button to show that they understand that this code should only be used in exceptional circumstances.

When is it OK to click ‘save’?

You should only click ‘save’ if you have used the generic Home Office code correctly and in line with your contractual requirements.

What if I have made a mistake?

If you have used the generic code by mistake you will need to amend it to the correct UCN reference as supplied by the Home Office.

You should then acknowledge the error warning message by saving the claim after the amendment.

When can I use the generic default code?

There are a small number of cases where a Home Office UCN will not be available. For example, the nature of the advice may not have led to any dealings with the Home Office. In such cases ‘A0000000’ can be used instead.

But the general rule is that the UCN needs to be included when providers submit cost claims for immigration and asylum work.

It is your responsibility to check and the generic default code should never be used once a UCN reference has been supplied.

When will I see the error warning message?

You will see the error warning message displayed for any claims with the generic Home Office UCN for any submissions within the online CWA system. This includes both bulkload and single transmissions.

Remember Home Office UCN

  • make a note of the Home Office UCN on the client’s file
  • use the UCN in all claims and correspondence with us about the client
  • claims which do not include the UCN may be rejected until the correct number is supplied

Further information

Home Office unique client number and asylum work – GOV.UK news story

Submit a contracted work and administration (CWA) claim online – to download Home Office UCN claims guidance

Published 24 November 2016