How to apply for Universal Credit

Universal Credit can help you with your living costs if you are on low income or out of work.

Step-by-Step Guide to making an application 

Step 1: Check if you are eligible 

Check if you are eligible for Universal Credit. If you have worked in the last two to three years, you may also be eligible for: 

  • 'new style' Jobseeker's Allowance if you are out of work 
  • 'new style' Employment and Support Allowance if you cannot work because of illness or disability 

Step 2: Create an account and make a claim 

You need an online account to claim Universal Credit. Set up an account and make a claim 

You must submit your claim within 28 days of creating your account. 

If you live with your partner, they will also need to set up an account. You will be given a code to link the accounts together. 

You will need to have an interview with Jobcentre Plus. You will be told how to arrange this after you submit your claim. It will be within ten working days. 

If you have a disability or health condition you may need a work capability assessment. You will be told if you need one after you claim. 

Step 3: Attend your interview 

Step 4: Apply for an advance on your first payment 

If you need help with bills or other costs while you wait for your first payment, you can apply for an advance. 

Step 5: Get your first payment 

You will get your first payment five weeks after you claim. Your account will be updated to tell you how much it will be. 

Step 6: Follow your agreement and report any change of circumstances 

You must keep to the Claimant Commitment you agreed at your interview. If you do not, your payments could stop. 

You must also update your account if your circumstances change to get the right payment.