You have to make a claim for Universal Credit online . If you get stuck while you're making your Universal Credit claim a helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm to guide you through the online process. Call 0345 600 0723. However, if you have difficulty using a PC and need help filling out your form online, you can use local, face to face services.
You cannot backdate your Universal Credit claim so it is important that you make your claim as soon as possible.
Please allow enough time to complete your application. It may take 40 minutes to an hour. Once you start the application you cannot save it part way through so you need to make sure that you have all the information you need when you start.
To make a claim you will need:
If you are part of a couple and you have been told to claim Universal Credit you will make a joint claim, but only one member of the couple will complete the online claim form. That person will need to enter details for both of you.
If you are successful with your Universal Credit claim your Universal Credit payment will be made up of different amounts depending on your circumstances. You can earn a certain amount before your Universal Credit payments are reduced. This is known as your "work allowance".
If you earn more than your work allowance your Universal Credit payment will be reduced. The amount of Universal Credit you get will gradually reduce as you earn more, but unlike Jobseekers Allowance your payment won't stop when you work more than 16 hours a week. This will help ensure that you are better off in work.
If you pay rent for your home, you will also receive an amount in your Universal Credit payment called "housing costs". This is the replacement for Housing Benefit and you will have to make sure that when you receive your monthly Universal Credit payment you pay your rent directly to your Landlord. Your housing costs may not cover the full amount of your rent (similar to Housing Benefit) so you will need to pay any additional shortfall to ensure your contractual rent is paid.