Universal credit: How to claim


This page has been updated following the coronavirus outbreak

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

You'll have to wait 5 weeks before you get any money, unless you ask for an advance payment. You'll have to pay the advance back through deductions from your normal payments.

You can usually get universal credit if you or your 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.

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. 

If your workplace has shut or you've been told not to come in, your employer may be able to keep paying you. Citizens Advice has more information on the government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

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 02 April 2020 | © Shelter

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