If you have come out of work or stopped working due to ill health, you may be able to claim new style Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance (depending on your National Insurance contributions). You can check what you could be claiming here.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit that is paid monthly to help you with your living costs. Whether you can claim Universal Credit depends on your circumstances, e.g. you’re on a low income or out of work. Find out everything you need to know here…

What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit replaces several benefits :

  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment & Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

If you already claim any of these benefits, and you have a change of circumstances, you will have to claim Universal Credit. A change of circumstances could be:

  • Starting a new job (but still claiming benefits)
  • Being declared fit for or unfit for work
  • A partner moving in or out
  • Having a new baby

How to prepare…
It can take up to 5 weeks from when you claim until your first payment, and claims are not backdated, so it is important that you make your claim as quickly as possible. To make sure your claim goes smoothly you will need the following:

Access to the internet
Universal Credit can only be claimed online. If you don’t have access to a computer you can make a claim on a smart phone or tablet. If you don’t have any of these there may be facilities in your local area, such as libraries or job centres. Contact us to find out where you get access near you.

Email address
You can sign up a for a free email account at google mail or yahoo mail

Bank account
You will need a bank or building society account that allows automated payments. You may need to check with your provider that your account allows this. To open a new account you will need to make an appointment with your bank and you will need ID. Most high street banks will offer a basic account that does not require a credit check or charge a fee.

Before you start
You will be asked to provide information such as your income, who lives with you, how much rent you pay, your partners’ details if you have one, and you will need your National Insurance number and a list of other important information. Make sure you have all this information to hand before you start your claim.

Ready to start?
Check whether you are eligible and make a claim for Universal Credit

Here to Help
If you need any advice or assistance on Universal Credit please contact us: send an email to or give us a call on 0300 555 0128

Useful websites