When Should I Start My Universal Credit Claim

Read our guide to when to start your Universal Credit claim.


When Should I Start My Universal Credit Claim?

If you have just finished a job and are now looking to claim Universal Credit, you might be expecting a final pay cheque from your old employer. Depending on how much this is and how long you expect to wait for it, it might be worth delaying your claim for Universal Credit until you get your last pay cheque. It would be a good idea to speak to an adviser for detailed advice on this.

Until November 2020, it was helpful for people paid monthly to keep their claim date a few days away from their usual pay date. From 16 November 2020, the rules have been changed so if you are paid monthly and get two payments in one Assessment Period, one of the payments can be allocated to a different Assessment Period. This change only helps people who are paid monthly.

If you are paid 4-weekly, fortnightly or weekly, there will be some assessment periods when more pay than usual is counted towards your Universal Credit. This is because of how the dates of assessment periods and pay dates line up. There is no way to avoid this and no right or wrong time to claim.

If you've received a migration notice letter telling you to claim Universal Credit, read our guide on Universal Credit Migration Notice. It's important to understand what to do and by when.