Universal Credit - How to Claim - Managing your claim

This guide will walk you though making a Universal Credit claim

Last reviewed 11 July 2023

How to manage your claim

Even though you had to give an address as part of the claim process, you won’t get letters about your claim. All communication will be done using your online account. You should expect to need to check your account a couple of times a week to see whether you have any messages you need to deal with.

If you forget the password for your account, you can use the online system to reset it. If you aren’t able to do this or you no longer have access to the email address you used to set up your claim, you will need to go in to the jobcentre to ask for help. You might have to verify your identity again.

The amount of Universal Credit you are entitled to is calculated monthly. The date on which you submit your claim will become the first day of your first assessment period. The assessment period is a period of a month, running from the day of the month you first claimed. You are then paid a week after the end of each assessment period. You should be able to see how much Universal Credit you will be paid one week before your payment date.

For example, Danny claims Universal Credit on the 5th January. His assessment period is from the 5th of each month to the 4th of the following month. He is then paid on the 11th of each month.

Because Universal Credit is calculated monthly, you might be entitled to different amounts every month depending on how much income you had in that assessment period. If you are an employee, your earnings will be reported automatically using HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC’s) systems. If you are self employed, you will need to report your income every month.

If you are claiming for help with childcare costs, you will need to report how much you have paid for childcare every month. You will also need to provide evidence of it. This should usually be an invoice from your childcare provider with their letterhead on it.

If you have any changes in your life, it is important to report them as soon as possible. 

If you are self-employed, you will need to report your income every month.

If you are an employee and are paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE),the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will automatically be able to access information about your pay and you won’t need to report your pay.

If in one month your income is high enough that you are not entitled to Universal Credit your claim will close and you will need to reapply to be able to get Universal Credit in the following month. If you re-apply within six months of your previous claim some of the claim process is simplified and you will keep the same assessment period.

If you don’t agree with a decision, you can challenge it. Have a look at our page on challenging Universal Credit decisions.


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