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Benefits and support Universal Credit

How to make a claim for Universal Credit

You can only claim Universal Credit online.

Citizens Advice can support you if this is difficult.

You can ring their freephone 'help to claim' phone service on 0800 144 8444. They can also help you online.

They cannot help you face to face during the current coronavirus outbreak.

Staff in job centres will be able to help you make your claim.

There are places with free internet and help to claim across the city.

What you'll need to make a claim

  • your National Insurance number
  • your address
  • details of the bank, building society or Post Office account you want Universal Credit paid into
  • your tenancy agreement (if you have one) and rent that you pay
  • your landlord's address and phone number
  • details of your savings
  • details of any income that’s not from work
  • details of any other benefits you’re getting
  • your childcare costs
  • your child benefit reference numbers for your children 

You may also need these details for your partner and other people who live in your home.

What to expect

Your application will be processed against the listed criteria and reviewed along with any evidence you supply, after which a decision will be made and you will receive your first payment if successful. Payments are normally paid direct to claimants, and it is your responsibility to pay your bills including rent from this. 

The amount of Universal Credit you receives will depend on your circumstances. The exact amount will be calculated every calendar month.

The majority of new claims are paid in full and on time, however if you can't wait 5 weeks for your payment you can apply for a repayable advance.

Read repayable advance help and guidelines

Support with agents

It is important to note that letting agents can't refuse to rent to someone based on universal credit or housing benefit. This used to be called a no DSS policy, it is now referred to as DSS discrimination. As this type of policy is now deemed out of date and is considered unlawful.

This could include when agents:

  • refuse to let you view an affordable property
  • won't consider you for a tenancy because you get benefits
  • or advertise properties as 'no DSS' or 'working professionals only'

Find out how to challenge DSS discrimination

Financial support 

  • Personal Budgeting Support (PBS) is a service that can help you to manage your money, which is available at Jobcentre Plus offices across the city and at Shelter’s Hub. Call Shelter on 0344 515 1681 (may cost more from mobiles) for more information.

More information about Universal Credit

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