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How Citizens Advice can help with your claim

Universal Credit works differently from other benefits – so if you’re moving from another benefit it’s important to know the differences.

Moving to Universal Credit from another benefit may not be the best thing for you to do, and you may be worse off. Please talk to us before you submit your Universal Credit claim.

Citizens Advice have a national helpline dedicated to helping people claim Universal Credit with brilliant advisors there to support you. You will be able to contact this service via telephone, webchat, as well as have access to interpretation services and BSL.

We will give you as as much information as we can about Universal Credit, to prepare you to contact the helpline for assistance. If you need information, contact us.  


Here are answers to some questions we're often asked. This information is correct at the time of writing in April 2022, but may be subject to change.
Where can I get more information about Universal Credit?

Citizens Advice website have plenty of advice around Universal Credit, from before you apply, claiming, whilst you’re on Universal Credit and problems with your payment.   

Find out more here. 

How can Citizens Advice help me to apply for Universal Credit?

National Citizens Advice Help to Claim advisors can help you with the early stages of your Universal Credit claim. You can talk to them on the phone, online over chat or face-to-face.

Their advisors can help you:

  • work out if you can get Universal Credit

  • fill in the Universal Credit application 

  • prepare for your first Jobcentre appointment 

  • check your first payment is correct 

How do I know if Universal Credit is the right benefit for me?

It can depend on things like how much savings you have, and what National Insurance contributions you’ve been paying.
Universal Credit may not be the right benefit for you. You might be eligible for other benefits instead.

You can use our benefit calculator and talk to our team. Please do this before you put in a claim for any benefit to make sure it’s right for you.

What if I'm already on benefits? Should I switch to Universal Credit?

If you’re already on benefits, switching to Universal Credit may not be the best thing for you do to.

Some people may be worse off if they switch over from their current benefits. However when you’ve put in your claim for Universal Credit, you can’t switch back.

Contact us before claiming. We can advise you on the options available to you.

Can I get Universal Credit if I am working?

Most people who claim Universal Credit are in work but on low incomes. 

We can check whether you are eligible for Universal Credit or other benefits.

I know I need to verify my identity. What does that mean?

Universal Credit need to check your identity and that you are eligible to claim benefits.

You can do this via an app on your phone. If there are problems submitting your documents, you can have an ID or identification interview over the phone.

I'm worried about money while I wait for my first payment. What can I do?

If you’re worried about buying food, we can help you with emergency food bank vouchers. Please contact us.

If you are worried about paying your energy or utility bills, find out how we can help.


You can get Universal Credit if you’re unemployed but also if you’re working

You’ll get...

A single payment each month, rather than weekly or fortnightly

Housing benefit

Instead of getting a separate housing benefit, your housing costs will be paid directly to you as part of your monthly Universal Credit payment

Find out more about volunteering

“Universal Credit can be confusing, and I’m pleased to be able to help people through the process.”