Universal Credit: Claiming Online

Making an online claim

How to claim Universal Credit

You can make a claim for Universal Credit online on the GOV.UK website

If you are not able to go online yourself you should first ask friends and family to help you. If this is not possible you can contact an Adviser on 0845 6000 723 or text phone 0845 6000 743. The call is charged at the standard local call charge rate from BT landlines. Call charges from mobiles and other networks may vary. If a call ends suddenly, it is up to you to call back.

When calling you will need the same information that is needed to claim online.

Making a claim

Before you start your claim, you'll need to complete a simple security step. This is to help keep your personal information safe, including your bank details.

Your claim then has 4 steps

  • can you claim - a quick check to see if you can make a claim
  • your claim - all information needed for your claim
  • submit claim - your responsibilities and likely payment
  • next steps - what you need to do next to be paid Universal Credit

How long it should take

You need to allow up to 40 minutes for your online application because you must complete it in one session. You will not be able to save your information and come back to it later.

The information you have input will be lost if you haven't pressed a key or mouse button or entered anything in 20 minutes. You will get a warning message 5 minutes before this happens. If your information is lost you will have to start again from the beginning.

What you need to complete your claim

To help you complete the questions you will need to have the following information with you:

  • your contact details
  • bank or building society account details
  • National Insurance number

You can find your National Insurance number on any of the following:

  • payslips
  • previous letters about your benefits
  • letters from HMRC about your personal tax affairs
  • a letter sent to you telling you what your National Insurance number is
  • a National Insurance number card

If you don't have a National Insurance number, you will not be able to apply for Universal Credit. To get a National Insurance number you will be directed to the Gov.UK website.

You may also need details of:

  • current employment (for example, employer name and how often you are paid)
  • total monthly earnings including the gross amount (you can find this information on your payslip)
  • your rent and service charges if you have them
  • tenancy agreement details if you have one
  • income (this is income that you get as well or instead of earnings, for example income protection insurance payment)
  • savings and other capital (you may find this information on your latest bank statement(s) or share certificates)
  • any other benefits you already get

Other things you need to know

  • only give correct information - you may need to provide proof of this
  • use the 'Back' button on screen if you need to go back a page - don't use your browser to do this
  • if you don't understand a question, select 'What does this mean?'

Can you claim?

You must enter your National Insurance Number and your postcode. Then you will be guided through a series of 'quick check' questions to see if you can make a claim.

If you are told you can claim Universal Credit you will be shown the 'quick check' questions and answers. You will be asked to check the information is correct and press 'confirm and continue'.

Start your claim

Your claim starts with some basic questions about you, such as:

  • your postcode
  • date of birth
  • if you have capital or savings of £6000 or more
  • if you have to pay rent where you live

If any of the information you give in this section is different from that provided in the 'quick check' you will be informed by an on screen message. If you have entered conflicting information you must amend the information or restart the claim.

When completing a claim you can select 'Return to claim overview' where you will be shown the sections to be completed. It is important to select 'Continue' at the bottom of each page or you may lose the data already input.

You will also be asked to provide an email address or contact telephone number. This enables Universal Credit to contact you quickly if more information is needed. Your claim may be delayed if Universal Credit has to get in touch with you by post.

If you wish to receive text messages (SMS) then you must provide a mobile number. You will not be charged for these messages; however, some service providers will not allow you to receive messages if you do not have enough credit. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have enough credit on you mobile to receive text messages (SMS).

You will be asked to enter your email address twice to confirm it's correct.

If you need your post sent to a different address you can provide this.

Submitting your claim

Before you submit your claim you will be shown:

  • the details you have entered to check and you can change them if needed
  • a summary of your responsibilities
  • whether or not you will get Universal Credit
  • the estimated amount you will be paid each month
  • the payment date

You will be asked to:

  • sign a Claimant Commitment
  • confirm that the information you have provided is correct and complete as far as you know or believe

If you do not agree to the declaration and responsibilities you will not be able to submit your application and any information you have provided will be lost.

If you fail to provide correct and complete information this will affect your Universal Credit.

When you submit your claim you may be asked to provide more information, for example evidence to confirm information you have given. This must usually be provided within one calendar month. If the information does not match what you have previously said, your claim will be reassessed using the new information you have provided.

The Universal Credit claim date is the date you submit your claim. Your payments will be calculated from this date. The system will tell you your first payment date.

The claim date could change if you do not promptly supply any verification requested or sign your claimant commitment on time.

Once your claim has been submitted, an Adviser will phone you to arrange an interview which you must attend. At this interview you must accept a Claimant Commitment.

You must tell Universal Credit straight away if any of your circumstance change after you submit your claim.

The Universal Credit system stores your information in line with the Data Protection Act. Your information may be shared with other organisations that work with Universal Credit.

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