Guidance on claiming Universal Credit


With the evolving situation around coronavirus you might find you need to make a new Universal Credit claim to help with your living costs.

Coronavirus universal credit

We’ve put together some information to help you if you need to make a claim.

Who can make a claim?

Some of the reasons you could be entitled to claim Universal Credit include being unemployed or self-employed with no income. If in doubt, it’s best to apply - the application process will tell you if you’re eligible.

When to apply

If you’re thinking of applying for Universal Credit be sure to apply as soon as you can as claims are not backdated.

How to make a claim

You need to make your claim for Universal Credit online.

If you’re single, you claim as an individual.

If you’re in a couple you can apply individually but will need to link your claims using a linking code that will be generated. Simply enter the linking code into the journal to link your claims. If you are eligible for a claim the joint claim will be paid to one of you but you will both be able to log in to your own accounts.

Verifying your claim

You will need to verify your claim either online or on the phone. Online is the best option at the moment - there is a long wait on the phone due to the number of new claims.

What happens next?

You will receive your first monthly payment five weeks after you make your claim. If you need financial assistance during this assessment period you can apply for an advance payment – this is a loan that you will need to pay back in instalments from your monthly payments of Universal Credit.

Once your claim is up and running you must log in to your account and accept any commitments set for you. If you don’t do this your payment may be delayed. You will need to log in to your account regularly as this is the only way the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will communicate with you (you will not receive letters from them).

Will my rent be paid by the DWP?

Your monthly Universal Credit payment covers your daily living costs for you and your family, this includes your rent. In other words, you are responsible for paying your rent each month in the same way you do currently. 

The easiest way to pay your rent is by direct debit, you can set this up to come out of your bank on your Universal Credit payment date.

You may also be entitled to help paying your council tax, this should be claimed from your local authority. Please visit their website for more information. Many local authorities have an online claim form.

Need more help?

Visit the UK Government website for more information about Universal Credit. 

If you’re having financial difficulties or trouble paying your rent please contact us.

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