Our phone lines can get busy. See all the other ways of contacting us here.

How we 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.

We can help you with:

  • Checking if you should be applying and what Universal Credit may mean for you
  • Setting up your Universal Credit account
  • Completing your claim to-dos
  • Verifying your identity
  • Providing additional evidence
  • Preparing for the practicalities of a monthly payment
  • Requesting direct payments to your landlord
  • Accessing an Advance Payment to help you manage until your first UC payment
  • Supporting you with related issues up to your first correct payment
  • Getting support with other problems you may have, by signposting or referring you to other services. This may be with other organisations.

Come and see us

We have a drop in service and appointments available in our offices and at local Job Centres.

You can find us at:

Haywards Heath Job Centre

Drop in service and appointments are available:

  • Tuesday from 10am – 3.30pm
  • Thursday from 11am – 3.30pm

Just ask for ‘Citizens Advice’ when you arrive. We may book an appointment for another day.

You can drop in to Haywards Heath Job Centre at other times (open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) to request a referral for a Help to Claim appointment.

Citizens Advice Haywards Heath

Our drop in service is available:

  • Mon, Wed and Fri from 9.30am – 2.30pm
  • Tues and Thurs from 9am – 4pm

Appointments available upon request and where needed.

Citizens Advice Worthing 
  • Drop in Monday to Friday from 10am – 4pm

Appointments available upon request and where needed.

Contact us

We can help with your claim for Universal Credit.

To book a video or face-to-face appointment: send us an email or call 0808 278 7969.

Universal Credit Helpline: 0800 144 8444 (freephone, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm)

For all the ways to get in touch with us, visit here.

Here are answers to some questions we're often asked. This information is correct at the time of writing in March 2021, but may be subject to change.
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.

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

Most people have to claim online. If you’re not used to using a computer, we can talk you through the online claim form.

We can help you with just one or two questions, or go through the whole claims process with you.

If you don’t have a computer or computer skills, we can help you with a phone claim.

Do I need to have an email address to apply?

No.
We can help you to set up an email address, but if you don’t have computer skills, we can help you get a phone claim set up instead.

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.

We can talk to Universal Credit with you, to help you complete your ID verification.

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.

Working?

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.”

Universal Credit March 2021: we answer questions about claimingLatest news

4th March 2021

View details