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How do I claim Universal Credit (UC)?


You can start a claim for Universal Credit on the Apply for Universal Credit page of the website

In most cases, you have to claim Universal Credit online and then attend an interview in person. 

If you don't have internet access, you might be able to use a computer at your local jobcentre or local council who can also offer face to face advice.


If you have a reason for not being able to apply online, you may be able to claim by phone instead.  You can claim by phone if, for example, you can't use a computer or you have problems reading or writing.

To start a claim by phone, call the Universal Credit helpline: 

Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Textphone: 0345 600 0743

Face to face interview

Once you have started your claim online or by phone, you will be asked to attend a face to face interview at your Jobcentre. 

At the face to face interview you must agree a claimant commitment. This will set out what you have to do in order to continue to receive Universal Credit. Joint claimants must both agree a claimant commitment in order to receive Universal Credit.

The start date of the claim is the date that the claim is submitted, as long as the claimant commitment is signed.

When a claim isn’t needed

Re-awards: If you leave Universal Credit due to your earnings increasing, or changes which reduce your award to nil, a re-award allows you to be able to return to Universal Credit within six months of your claim closing, without having to make a new claim. You will return to your previous assessment period (you won’t have to wait a month for payment) but it will still be considered a new award, not a continuation of your old award.

Rapid re-claims: If you return to Universal Credit but don't fit the re-award criteria you will need to make a claim but there will be a rapid re-claim process.

©A1 ESA/DLA/PIP Benefits Help and Support (UK only)

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