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How to deal with problems with your universal credit

Leave a message in your journal

The Department of Work and Pensions can get things wrong.

Leave a message in your universal credit journal if you have problems such as:

  • you were paid the wrong amount

  • your rent was not paid to your landlord if it is paid directly

  • you cannot afford the deductions coming out of your money

If nobody answers your messages

Universal credit advisers sometimes do not respond to journal messages.

Leave another message if nobody answers your journal message after 2 to 3 days.

If they still do not get back to you, call universal credit on 0800 328 5644.

GOV.UK explains how to contact universal credit.

Get someone else to call for you

You can tell the DWP that you want someone else to call them to talk on your behalf about problems with your universal credit.

People who can speak on your behalf could be:

  • a friend

  • family member

  • support worker

Ask the DWP to review a decision

You can ask for a review if you think a decision about your universal credit is wrong.

A review is formal. The DWP calls this review a mandatory reconsideration.

You could ask for a review if you have problems such as you were:

  • sanctioned when you shouldn’t have been

  • refused universal credit when you are allowed to get it

  • told you won't get the amount of money you think you should

When to ask for a review

You should get a letter from the DWP about decisions.

You need to ask for your review within 1 month of the date of your letter.

If the letter does not have a date, use the date it was added to your universal credit journal.

You can ask for a review by:

Citizens Advice tells you how to ask for a review and what to do if you miss the deadline.

Going to tribunal

You can take your case a tribunal if the DWP does not change their decision after the a review.

For example, the DWP might say:

  • they will not change the amount of universal credit you get even though you think you should get more

  • the jobcentre was right to sanction your benefits

The tribunal is not part of the DWP. Its decisions are made by an independent panel and judge.

Citizens Advice explains how to go to tribunal.

Last updated: 4 March 2022

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