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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-support/universal-support
Universal Credit claimants can get help to make a claim and manage your payments of Universal Credit. This help is called Universal Support.
Universal Support provides:
- help with using a computer to make or maintain your claim – this is called Assisted Digital Support
- help to manage your monthly Universal Credit payment and possible advice on your finances – this is called Personal Budgeting Support.
1. How to get Universal Support
To get Universal Support you can:
- ask your Work Coach or a member of staff at your local jobcentre
- ask your Work Coach using your Universal Credit online account if you have one
Your Work Coach or Case Manager will then be able to discuss your needs and arrange for you to get the support you need.
2. What Universal Support is
Universal Support is delivered in different ways based on the support you need and where you live.
For example, if you are having difficulty making a claim for Universal Credit the jobcentre can help you with this. They have computers you can use to make a claim or access your account and can help you do this.
If you need help with managing your money the jobcentre will explain about help available through local organisations, perhaps the local authority or other partner organisation.
There is also money help available online, and they’ll show you how to use that support.
Personal Budgeting Support is not about telling you what you can or cannot spend your money on. It is simply offering help that may mean you can save a bit of money.
For example, they may be able to advice you on how to get a cheaper energy tariff for your utility bills (e.g. gas or electric).
2.1 Universal Support is optional
You may be uncomfortable talking about difficulties with money and going online in a jobcentre. If you prefer, you can directly approach your local authority, landlord or Citizen’s Advice for support. Please note that in some cases they may refer you to the jobcentre.
3. Other financial support
Find out about other money help you can get.
Other financial support includes things like:
- if you don’t have enough to live on while you wait for your first payment, you can ask for an advance payment
- if you’re having financial difficulties or you’re behind on your rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement such as a Managed Payment to your Landlord. This would mean part of your Universal Credit being paid directly to your landlord every month, to cover your rent payments
- you may be able to get a reduction in your local Council Tax
- money advice – the Money Manager tool from Money Advice Service
Depending on your circumstances you may be able to apply for other benefits such as:
- new style Jobseeker’s Allowance
- new style Employment and Support Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment and others
Use a benefits calculator to check what other benefits you might qualify for.