How to claim universal credit

You can claim universal credit for help with rent and living costs.

You can usually get universal credit if you or a partner you live with:

  • are working age

  • meet the immigration and residence conditions

  • have a low household income or no money coming in at all

You apply online. All appointments are now over the phone.

You have to wait at least 5 weeks before you get any money unless you ask for an advance.

A universal credit advance is paid back through deductions from future monthly payments.

There may be a delay in processing your application because of the number of people applying during the coronavirus outbreak

If you need money because of the coronavirus outbreak

Universal credit may not be your best or only option. 

Citizens Advice has more information on the government's Job Retention Scheme - commonly described as furlough.

You may be able to get statutory sick pay if you are employed and have coronavirus symptoms or live with someone who does.

You may also be able to claim other benefits if you are unable to work. Use the entitledto benefits calculator to see if you qualify.

Last updated: 1 April 2020

If you need to talk to someone, we'll do our best to help

Get help