How to claim
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.
The Universal Credit team might phone you after you’ve sent your application if they need more information or if you cannot verify your identity online.
You cannot claim Universal Credit and tax credits at the same time. If you get tax credits, they will stop when you or your partner applies for Universal Credit. Check how tax credits and Universal Credit affect each other.
What you need to apply
- your bank, building society or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have one)
- an email address
- 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
- debit or credit card
If you cannot verify your identity online
The Universal Credit team will phone you to help you verify your identity.
If you have an interview booked at the Jobcentre Plus, you do not need to go to it at the moment because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you to let you know what you need to do instead.
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.
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 cannot access your online claim
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
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges
British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
You can use the BSL video relay service to make a claim.
The service is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.
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 Jobcentre appointment.
Get Help to Claim:
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.
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 disagree with a decision
You can challenge a decision about your claim. This is called asking for mandatory reconsideration.