How do I claim Universal Credit (UC)?
Universal Credit is 'digital by default'. You will be expected to claim Universal Credit online and then attend a face-to-face interview.
If you don't have internet access this can be provided by your local jobcentre or local council who can also offer face-to-face advice.
You also have the option to get help over the phone by calling the Universal Credit helpline:
Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Textphone: 0345 600 0743
At the face to face interview (which is part of the claim) you must agree a claimant commitment. This will set out what you have to do in order to continue to receive Universal Credit. Joint claimants must both agree a claimant commitment in order to receive Universal Credit.
The start date of the claim is the date that the claim is submitted, as long as the claimant commitment is signed.
When a claim isn’t needed
Re-awards: If you leave Universal Credit due to your earnings increasing, or changes which reduce your award to nil, a re-award allows you to be able to return to Universal Credit within six months of your claim closing, without having to make a new claim. You will return to your previous assessment period (you won’t have to wait a month for payment) but it will still be considered a new award, not a continuation of your old award.
Rapid re-claims: If you return to Universal Credit but don't fit the re-award criteria you will need to make a claim but there will be a rapid re-claim process.