Universal Credit - How to Claim - Getting ready to claim

This guide will walk you though making a Universal Credit claim.

Last reviewed 11 July 2023

Getting ready to claim

Claiming Universal Credit can seem intimidating but getting everything you need ready to make your claim can make things go a lot more smoothly.

There are a few things you will need to sort out in preparation for making a claim.

If you are in work or have just finished working, it might be a good idea to think carefully about timing the start of your claim. You can read information about why this is important on our page ‘When to start your claim for Universal Credit'

When you have claimed Universal Credit, some of your other benefits will stop. If you are getting Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) at the time you claim Universal Credit, you will get two weeks of payments after the day you make your Universal Credit claim. Your tax credits will stop as soon as you claim Universal Credit. If you're getting Council Tax Support, you might need to renew your claim. Any other benefits you get will keep being paid.

What you will need to claim

If you don’t have an email address, you will need to get one.

Gmail and Outlook provide free webmail services.

Make sure you remember your new email address and the password you will set for the email.

You will need to give an address. If you are homeless it is fine to use a care of address, but make sure it is somewhere you will be able to get post.

If you don’t have a care of address, you could ask to use your local JobCentre.

You will need to give the number of a mobile phone that you can get text messages on.

If you don’t have a bank account you will need to open one. If you have a bad credit rating and have been refused bank accounts you could ask to open a basic bank account or see if you can open an account with a credit union.

If you are a private tenant (you rent your home from a private landlord) and you don’t have a copy of your tenancy agreement you should ask your landlord for one. 

You don’t need to wait until you have received it to make your claim.


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