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Claiming Universal Credit During Coronavirus

An overview of the Universal Credit application process relating to coronavirus

The rules the government has put in place to prevent coronavirus from spreading have meant that a lot of businesses have had to close.

This has meant a lot of people have lost their income.

A lot of these people have needed to make new claims for Universal Credit.

Around one million additional claims for Universal Credit have been made over the past few weeks.

It has been difficult for the Universal Credit application system to deal with this number of claimants.

Here are some handy tips to help you get your Universal Credit claim in without too much stress.

Universal Credit application process

Completing the online claim form

There aren’t any changes to this stage of the process. So far, the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP’s) website is managing to deal with the increased number of claims.

Verifying your identity

There are two ways to do this, either:

  • Using an online service, or

  • By having a telephone interview with staff from the DWP.

It is best to try to use the online service if you can. There are queues within this system. However, if you are able to sit the queue out, it frees up the phone lines for vulnerable people who can’t use online services.

If you can’t use the online services or if the online service can’t verify you, go back into your account and select ‘I can’t do this online’. This will take you to a page which lets you know that a member of jobcentre staff will call you back.

It is taking a few days for the DWP to call people back but they do claim that they will get to every claimant. The calls usually come from a withheld number. If you want to check if it really is a member of DWP staff calling you, you can write a message on your journal while you are on the phone and ask the person who has called you to read the message out to you.

Checking details

Once you have made your claim, it is possible someone from the DWP might need to call you to check some more details. 

They will leave a message in your journal letting you know when to expect the call. 

If you want to check if it really is a member of DWP staff calling you, you can write a message on your journal while you are on the phone and ask the person who has called you to read the message out to you.

Updated: 24 April 2020