Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) supports you if you have a low income or are unemployed. It provides a monthly payment to assist with your living expenses.

UC is a means-tested benefit that replaces several other benefits, including income-related ESA and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance. Individuals with disabilities or health conditions can receive extra financial support through the Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity (LCWRA) element.

It’s important to note that the eligibility criteria, application process and specific rates for these benefits may change over time. It is recommended to consult official government sources or seek advice from organisations such as Citizens Advice or Disability Rights UK for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding disability benefits in the UK.

You can apply for Universal Credit online.

To make a claim, you must create an account. It is important to note that your claim must be completed within 28 days of creating your account; otherwise, you will need to start the process again.

If you live with your partner, you will both need to create accounts. You’ll link them together when you claim. You cannot claim by yourself.

If you cannot claim online, you can use the Universal Credit helpline by phone at 0800 328 5644.

Check if you’re better off on Universal Credit before you apply.

If you already get benefits or tax credits, you should work out if you’ll be better off before you or your partner claim Universal Credit.

If you apply for Universal Credit, those benefits might end and you will not be able to apply for them again, even if your application is not approved.

To check if you’re better off, you can:

What you need to apply

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • your bank, building society or credit union account details
  • an email address
  • access to a phone

If you do not have these, you can call the Universal Credit helpline or go to a job centre. You can also get support from the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service.

You’ll also have to prove your identity. You’ll need some identity documents for this, for example, your:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card
  • payslip or P60

To complete your claim you will need to provide information about:

  • your housing, for example, how much rent you pay
  • your earnings, for example, payslips
  • any disability or health condition that affects your work
  • how much you pay for childcare if you want help with childcare costs
  • your savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out

Help to Claim

You can get free support from trained advisers to make a Universal Credit claim. They can help you with things like online applications or preparing for your first job centre appointment.

Citizens Advice provides the Help to Claim service and is confidential. They will not share your personal information unless you agree.