Universal Credit
How to Claim


You can apply for Universal Credit if you are on a low income or unemployed, check whether you are eligible on our Universal Credit web page. The only way to claim Universal Credit is online, to start a claim, register here: https://www.universal-credit.service.gov.uk/postcode-checker. If you are using a public computer, you might want to open a new tab in a 'private browsing mode'.

You must have a registered email address to claim Universal Credit, if you do not have one and need help, please visit our web page 'Set up an email account'.

The guide below will help you work through the application stages.


You must provide evidence of identity at the start. In particular, a person must provide one of the following:
UK Driving Licence with photo ID

  • EU Passport with photo ID

  • Non EU Passport with photo ID

  • Identity Card for EU

  • Residence Permit

  • Permanent Residence Card

  • Biometric Immigration documents

  • Immigration Status Document

Documents you will need to provide

  • Bank account details for Universal Credit payments to be paid into

  • Proof of your address (an official letter from the bank or energy company)

  • National Insurance number

  • Rent agreement and your landlord's address

  • Any charge made for maintenance on a property which has been leased

  • Details of any savings or capital investments including shares or property that you own

  • Details of any other income (income from an insurance plan or pension)

  • Details of how much you earn from work including any recent pay slips

  • Details of any other benefits already received

You will need to bring your identification with you to your Universal Credit interview to check you are who you say you are.

Step 1 - Signing up

The Sign up for Universal Credit is designed to be simple, to register go online via the link https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit. Click on the green button that reads ‘Start now’ to begin your application.

Do make sure you don't walk away from your computer or leave your application open and inactive as the form will not save and you will need to start from the beginning again.

The claim may take up to 30-45 minutes to complete.

In the text field enter your post code, this is the post code of your home address. Once you have entered your post code click on ‘Start’. Alternatively, if you already have an account you can sign in by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

Once you have started your application you will see the page (image below). This is a security page that ensures your application is protected online. In box 1, you will see a random generated code using letters and/or numbers, you need to copy everything you see in box 1 box into box 2.

Once you have done this click ‘Continue’.

Step 2 - Next page

The next page will assess whether you are eligible to claim Universal Credit, please take time to read the information on the page as it explains the process for claiming online. If you're successful, you'll usually get your first payment within 5 weeks after you made your claim.

In the text field at the bottom of the page you will need to add your national insurance number and your post code, then click on ‘Can you claim?’.

For this quick check you need to confirm if you have a partner or not, click ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and then click on ‘Continue’.

In the next screen shot image there are more boxes to tick so please complete them and select ‘Continue'. Once you have completed the 6 slides you will be taken to a page that lets you know whether you are eligible to claim.

If you see this warning page it means you will not able to claim this benefit based on your answers in the application.

If you are successful, you will see the page below with all of the information that you have entered, this means you are eligible to claim for Universal Credit online.

Take the time to check that your information is correct, you can edit any of your answers and national insurance information by clicking on ‘Edit details’. After this part of the claim you will not be able to change your details so you will need to confirm that it is correct.

Step 3 - Start your claim

On this page, you will need to answer more detailed questions to customise your claim.

There are two sections to this claim, please answer both parts, then click submit. You have now reached the end of this section, click on ‘Continue’.

Step 4 - Review your claim

You will now reach the 'Claim overview' section. There are a few details you will need to fill in, this includes your basic details, circumstances, and your payment details.

Let’s start with ‘Your basic details’. You will need your home address, mobile and landline numbers to complete this section.

Step 5 - Your details

Fill in all the details about you including your name and date of birth. You can fill in the text fields by simply clicking inside the white boxes and filling them in. The drop down menus can be selected by clicking the downward arrow (to the right of the selection box) and choosing the right option. Once you have finished click on ‘Continue’.

Fill in the rest of your details. You can quickly find your address by typing in your post code and clicking on ‘Find address’. This will open up a bigger list of options for you to choose, make sure you select the correct address, then click on ‘Continue’ to carry on with your application.

You must enter you registered email address so that information about your claim can be sent to you via email.

Click ‘Continue’ to complete the section.

Step 6 - About people who live with you

In this section you can add the details of the people that live with you. To add someone, click on ‘Add a person’. If there is more than one person in your household, you will need to fill the ‘About people in your home’ section. This section is about people who live in your home, including any children you are responsible for and anyone who is not financially dependent on you.

Fill in the application as you have been doing. In this section you can add more than one person that you live with and at any time you can go back and edit their information (Simply by clicking ‘Edit person’ as shown below)

When this section is complete click on ‘Complete’ and you will be taken you back to your claim overview.

Step 7 - Council tax reduction

Next, we want to fill in the ‘Local Council Tax Reduction’ section. Here you will need to answer questions regarding your council tax, complete the questions and click on ‘Continue’.

Step 8 - Your circumstances

Based on the answers to your initial claim, you may or may not have to answer the ‘Circumstances’ section, fill this section in if you need to and click on ‘Continue’ once you are done.

If you do need to fill in this section, you will need to have your rent agreement and landlord details including property address to hand.

Part of this section will ask you about your rent, fill in the details of this and click on the drop down arrow to choose more options, click on ‘Continue’ when you are done. You can add or remove a cost by clicking ‘Add cost’ or Remove cost”.

The next page will take you to ‘Who you pay rent to’. Fill this out in the same way and use the ‘Find address’ button to search for your address. Carry on filling in this section until you reach the end.

Step 9 - Your payment details

Step 9 is the last section and requires ‘Your payment details’. This is the bank account which your Universal Credit will be paid into each month. You will need to have your sort code and account number to hand for this section.

What happens next?

You will be contacted with the email address and phone number you provided in your sign up, this should take a few working days. You will then be invited to go to an interview at your local job centre for assessment.

Remember, if you miss your interview, your application will be cancelled and you'll have to start again.

Citizens Advice Help to claim

Help to Claim is a dedicated service from Citizens Advice, it is funded directly by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). The service is free, independent, confidential and impartial. Trained advisers can help with things like how to gather evidence for your application, applying online or how to prepare for your first Jobcentre appointment.

You can call a national helpline

England T: 0800 144 8 444

Wales T: 08000 241 220

Scotland T: 0800 023 2581

Search for your nearest Citizens Advice Office