Universal Credit: Claiming Online
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 0800 328 5644 or text phone 0800 328 1344. 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 need to create an account which asks some basic questions about you, such as your postcode and date of birth. The account will be connected to an email address, so you will need an email address before applying.
Your claim then has 4 steps
- Your claim - providing all of the information needed for your claim.
- Verifying your identity - this is done via the government 'Verify' system or can be done in a Jobcentre if you have problems online. You will need some proof of identity such as a passport, driving licence or bank card.
- Submit claim - you will be given details of your responsibilities and likely payment.
- Next steps - what you need to do next to be paid Universal Credit and how to apply for an advance if you need one.
If you need to claim an advance
If you do not have enough money to live on while you wait for your first Universal Credit payment you can. This is a loan that needs to be paid back from your future Universal Credit payments over 24 months if you applied for the advance on or after 12 April 2021 (it was 12 months before this date).
These repayments can be delayed for up to three months if you can't afford them, speak to your job coach if this applies to you.
If you ask for an advance because of a change of circumstances during your Universal Credit claim you can delay repaying for one month and you need to repay the ampunt over a six month period. See more info on gov.uk.
What you need to complete your claim
To help you complete the questions you should 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:
- 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 can still apply for Universal Credit and a National Insurance number will be allocated during the new claim process. You should not delay your claim for Universal Credit.
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 payments)
- 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
- Allow at least half an hour to submit your claim. You can complete it in stages if you need time to collect together the information needed for the application.
- Only give correct information - you may need to provide proof of anything you mention during your claim.
Submitting your claim
Before you submit your claim you will be shown the details you have entered to check (you can change them if needed) and a summary of your responsibilities.
You will also be asked to sign a Claimant Commitment and to 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.
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 date your started your claim 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 contact you to arrange an interview which you must attend. At this interview you must accept your Claimant Commitment.
You must tell Universal Credit straight away if any of your circumstance change after you submit your claim. When your claim is up and running you can report a change of circumstances via your online journal.