Applying for Universal Credit 

You can apply for Universal Credit online and you will need an email account.  When you apply you will need certain information ready.  If you are making a claim with a partner, they will need their details ready too.  

The details you will need are: 

  • your National Insurance number (on a pay slip or from HMRC).  If you cannot find your number, call the helpline on 0300 200 3500 (weekdays from 8.00am to 5.00pm) 
  • a copy of your tenancy agreement (with a note of your postcode, the rent you pay and any service charges) 
  • details of any income and savings you have 
  • any other benefits you receive 
  • your childcare arrangements 
  • proof of your nationality 
  • information about your health. 

If you are asked to go for an interview at your local Job Centre as part of your application, you will need to take this information with you (including a copy of your tenancy agreement).  If live with a partner who is claiming, they will have a separate interview. 

You will never receive a text or email asking for personal information or bank details as part of your Universal Credit application. Please note, there are scams preying on people, so do not share information if you’re not sure the call is related to your application.  

For more information on what you need to do Citizens Advice have provided a helpful checklist.


How long will it take before I get my first payment? 

It will usually take 5 weeks for your first payment. If you are in need, you can ask for an advance payment by calling the Universal Credit helpline 0800 328 5644. 

What if I work? 

Unlike other benefits, you can work as many hours as you want.  If you are in paid employment, you may be entitled to a work allowance, which is the amount of money you’re allowed to earn before your Universal Credit is affected.  You can get this allowance if you: 

  • are responsible for dependent children, and/or 
  • you or your partner can’t work as much because of illness or disability.