How to claim
You can apply for Universal Credit online.
You need to create an account. You use it to make a claim. You must complete your claim within 28 days of creating your account or you will have to start again.
If you live with your partner, you will both need to create accounts. You’ll link them together when you claim. You cannot claim by yourself.
If you cannot claim online, you can claim by phone through the Universal Credit helpline.
Check if you’re better off on Universal Credit before you apply
If you already get benefits or tax credits, you should work out if you’ll be better off before you or your partner claim Universal Credit.
If you apply for Universal Credit those benefits might end and you will not be able to apply for them again, even if your application is not approved.
To check if you’re better off, you can:
use a benefits calculator
ask a local benefits adviser
What you need to apply
To apply online you’ll need:
- your bank, building society or credit union account details
- an email address
- access to a phone
If you do not have these, you can call the Universal Credit helpline or go to a jobcentre. You can also get support from the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service.
You’ll also have to prove your identity. You’ll need some identity documents for this, for example your:
- driving licence
- debit or credit card
- payslip or P60
To complete your claim you will need to provide information about:
- your housing, for example how much rent you pay
- your earnings, for example payslips
- any disability or health condition that affects your work
- how much you pay for childcare if you want help with childcare costs
- your savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
You might need an appointment with the Universal Credit team if:
- they need more information
- you cannot verify your identity online
You’ll be told if this appointment will be in a jobcentre or on the phone.
You will have to go to a meeting to agree the activities in your claimant commitment before you can get your first payment.
Apply for Universal Credit online
Help with your claim
There are 2 ways to get help with your Universal Credit claim. You can either call the Universal Credit helpline or use the Help to claim service.
Calls to the Universal Credit helpline are free.
Universal Credit helpline
Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 328 5644
British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service if you’re on a computer - find out how to use the service on mobile or tablet
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges
Help to Claim
You can get free support from trained advisers to make a Universal Credit claim. They can help you with things like online applications or preparing for your first jobcentre appointment.
The Help to Claim service is provided by Citizens Advice and is confidential. They will not share your personal information unless you agree.
If you’ve claimed Universal Credit before
You can sign in to your account to start a new claim if you’ve received a payment during the last 6 months.
If your payments stopped more than 6 months ago, you’ll need to make a new claim.
If you disagree with a decision
You can challenge a decision about your claim. This is called asking for mandatory reconsideration.