Universal Credit is a mean-tested benefit for people of working age only, who are on a low income or unemployed.

It is intended to simplify the current benefit system by introducing one monthly payment instead of the current system where payments can be received from different sources and at different frequencies.

You cannot backdate your Universal Credit claim so it is important that you make your claim as soon as possible.

Apply for Universal Credit

Please use our benefits calculator to see which benefits you may be entitled to before applying for Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is a means tested benefit. This means that your income and savings are taken into consideration when applying.

To make a claim for Universal Credit, you will need to complete an application form on the GOV.UK website.

Apply for Universal Credit online - GOV.UK

You might also need to book and attend an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus. You’ll be told if you need to after you apply.

You’ll get your first payment around 5 weeks after applying online if your application is successful. When you apply, you can ask for an advance if you need help sooner.

You can get advice by calling the Universal Credit Service Helpline on 0345 600 0723.

Who can claim Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a working age benefit and therefore can not be claimed by anyone who has reached state pension credit age.

The minimum age for claiming Universal Credit is 16 years of age. If you are 16 or 17 you must meet the following criteria:

  • you have limited capability for work or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a work capability assessment
  • you’re caring for a severely disabled person
  • you’re responsible for a child
  • you’re in a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
  • you’re pregnant and it’s 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
  • you’ve had a child in the last 15 weeks
  • you do not have parental support.