Universal Credit is part of the UK Government’s radical reform to the welfare benefit system. The new benefit was first introduced in October 2013 in selected local authorities across the country on a pilot basis. The rollout of Universal Credit is now being accelerated across the country and was introduced in Glasgow on the 8 June.
Who can claim Universal Credit
Initially, claims for Universal Credit are restricted to persons who are United Kingdom nationals, and are
- Aged between 18 & 60.5 years old, and
- Unemployed, not unfit for work and single
- Capital less than £6,000, who are
- With or without housing costs
- But not mortgage costs, or in
- Temporary accommodation, and are
- Not challenging a benefit decision
- Not entitled to DLA or PIP or waiting on a decision on these benefits
How to claim
Universal Credit claimants must normally be made online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
There is a helpline if you want advice to help you make an online claim.
Universal Credit helpline
- Telephone: 0345 600 0723
- Textphone: 0345 600 0743
It is important to have everything you need before starting your Universal Credit claim online.
- If a claimant is inactive online for more than 20 minutes your session will time out and you will have to begin again.
- The DWP suggest it should take 20 to 40 minutes to complete your claim.
- It is necessary to complete the claim in one sitting
What you will need to make an online claim
- Four forms of identification
- Photo ID
- Two more forms of official ID (birth certificate, NI card, P60 etc)
- Proof of address
Other things to bring
- Proof of housing costs
- Proof of earnings
There is lots of information available online to help you understand more about Universal Credit. Some links are provided below.
Universal Credit pages on GOV.UK
The Claimant Commitment
A Personal Planner to help claimants prepare for Universal Credit
A pictorial representation explaining Better off in Work
Budgeting help and support
Universal Credit – managing your money video
Call the GAIN Helpline on 0808 801 1011 for free and independent guidance on benefits, debt worries and budgeting advice.