How to claim

You need to apply for Universal Credit online.

You have to apply as a couple if you and your partner live together. You do not need to be married.

You might also need to phone the Universal Credit helpline to book an interview with a work coach. You’ll be told if you need to do this after you apply.

You will not get Universal Credit if you do not attend the appointment.

What you need to apply

You’ll need:

  • your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
  • an email address
  • your National Insurance number
  • information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
  • details of your income, for example payslips
  • details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
  • details of how much you pay for childcare if you’re applying for help with childcare costs

If you do not provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid or how much you get.

You also have to verify your identity online. You’ll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card

Apply now

If you cannot verify your identity online

You can take 3 forms of proof of identity to your first interview at your local Jobcentre Plus.

For example your:

  • permanent residence card
  • UK registration or naturalisation certificate
  • council tax documents

Help with your application

Contact the Universal Credit helpline to get help making your claim online.

Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

If you have a disability or illness that affects your work

You may need a Work Capability Assessment to see how your disability or health condition affects your ability to work.

Depending on the outcome of your assessment you may be eligible for an extra amount on top of your standard allowance.

Terminal illness

If you’re terminally ill, you may get extra money for Universal Credit.

If you’re making a new claim, you can declare this during your application. If you’ve already made a claim, you’ll need to report this as a change of circumstances.

If you’ve claimed Universal Credit before

You’ll usually need to make a new claim online by signing in to your account.

If you do not have an online account you’ll be told if you can claim again by phoning the Universal Credit helpline.

If you disagree with a decision

You can challenge a decision about your claim. This is called asking for mandatory reconsideration.

  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

  2. Step 2 Create an account and make a claim

    You need an online account to claim Universal Credit.

    1. You are currently viewing: Set up an account and make a claim

    You must submit your claim within 28 days of creating your account.

    If you live with your partner, they will also need to set up an account. You'll be given a code to link the accounts together.

  3. and Find out how your claim is assessed

    You'll need to have an interview with Jobcentre Plus. You'll be told how to arrange this after you submit your claim. It will be within 10 working days.

    If you have a disability or health condition you may need a medical assessment. You'll be told if you need one after you claim.

    1. What to do if you have a health condition or disability
  4. Step 3 Apply for an advance on your first payment

    If you need help with bills or other costs while you wait for your first payment, you can apply to get an advance.

    1. Get an advance on your first Universal Credit payment
    2. Check if you can get any other financial support
  5. Step 4 Attend your interview

  6. Step 5 Get your first payment

    You’ll get your first payment 5 weeks after you claim. Your account will be updated to tell you how much it will be.

    1. What to do if you disagree with the decision
  7. Step 6 Follow your agreement and report any change of circumstances

    You must keep to the Claimant Commitment you agreed at your interview. If you do not, your payments could stop.

    You must also update your account if your circumstances change to get the right payment.

    1. How to report a change in circumstances
    2. What to do if your payments are stopped