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How do I apply for Universal Credit?

If you're going to claim Universal Credit, you will need to do the following:

1. Make sure you have access to a computer so you can claim Universal Credit online

Your local Jobcentre can tell you about places in your area where you can use a computer and access the internet for free. If you don’t know how to use a computer or the internet, you can sign up for a free digital training course with A2Dominion.

2. Get a bank account. Your benefit payments will be paid directly to your bank account

If you don't already have a bank account, you should contact a local high street bank or your Tenancy Sustainment Officer for advice. Most will offer a basic account.

3. Set up a Direct Debit to pay your rent automatically when it is due

Set up a Direct Debit. If you have a Credit Union account or a prepaid card account for rent and bills, check whether you can set up a Direct Debit. If you can't, you should open a bank account that allows you to do this.

4. Get used to budgeting for a month at a time

If you have debt issues or struggles with budgeting, you can contact your Tenancy Sustainment Officer or the Money Advice Service for free and confidential advice.

When you start to claim Universal Credit, you will have to wait five weeks before your first payment. If you don't have enough money to cover this period or if you’re worried about being able to pay your rent, or how you can apply for Universal Credit, we can help.

Email us at or call us on 0800 432 0077 and ask to speak to your Tenancy Sustainment Officer. They can offer practical one-to-one assistance with benefits, money management and help towards gaining employment, and can also talk to you about different ways to pay.

The Money Advice Service offers hints and tips about budgeting and managing debt. Its website has lots of helpful information about money-related topics. You can also call the Money Advice Service for free on 0300 500 5000.


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