How to Apply for Universal Credit

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

Step-by-Step Guide to making an application

Step1: Check if you're eligible

Check if you're eligible for Universal Credit. If you've worked in the last 2 to 3 years, you may also be eligible for:
  • 'new style' Jobseeker's Allowance if you're out of work
  • 'new style' Employment and Support Allowance if you can't work because of illness or disability

Step2: 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'll be given a code to link the accounts together.
Find out how your claim is assessed
You'll need to have an interview with Jobcentre Plus. You'll be told how to arrange this after you submit your claim. It will be within 10 working days.
If you have a disability or health condition you may need a work capability assessment. You'll be told if you need one after you claim.

Step3: Attend your interview

What happens at the interview

Step4: 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 to get an advance.
  • Get an advance on your first Universal Credit payment
  • Check if you can get any other financial support

Step5: Get your first payment

You’ll get your first payment 5 weeks after you claim. Your account will be updated to tell you how much it will be.
What to do if you disagree with the decision

Step6: 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.
  • How to report a change in circumstances
  • What to do if your payments are stopped