Universal Credit: Help to Claim
We can help with your claim for Universal Credit.
You don’t need to leave your home to contact the Help to Claim team.
Universal Credit Helpline: 0800 144 8 444
(freephone, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm)
Web chat: click here
Local video and face to face appointments: send us an email or call 0808 278 7969.
Appointments are available.
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
- Managing changes to payments, such as direct payments to your landlord, and accessing advanced payment to ease any delays
- Applying for additional financial support
- Supporting you with related issues up to your first payment
- Getting support with other problems you may have, by signposting or referring you to other services. This may be with other organisations.
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?
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.
You can get Universal Credit if you’re unemployed but also if you’re working
A single payment each month, rather than weekly or fortnightly
Instead of getting a separate housing benefit, your housing costs will be paid directly to you as part of your monthly Universal Credit payment