- There is no paper claim for UC. The DWP prefer claims to be made online (although a telephone claim service is available to those who would struggle to make the claim online).
- For those who would not be able to claim online or on the phone the DWP can arrange a home visit.
- Usually a claimant would need to attend one (or more) interviews at the Jobcentre ie to agree their claimant commitment and verify their ID (if they failed to do so online or have applied for an Advance Payment). Jobcentres are open again, although some appointments might be conducted over the phone / online instead.
How to claim
To claim online - go to gov.uk here.
To claim over the phone (or request a home visit if it is not possible for someone to claim online or by phone) -
Universal Credit helpline: 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
What about the new claim interview?
Jobcentres are open again - although some appointments could be carried out over the phone or via video call.
See here for more information.
What about verifying ID?
Claimants may be able to verify their ID online.
If they are not able to do this, the DWP should contact them by phone.
More on verifying ID here.
Watch out for scams!
The DWP will never text or email asking for personal information or bank details.
The advice is that, if you are in any doubt, please ask the caller to post a specific form of words into your UC journal so you can be sure it’s the DWP.
What about Advance Payments?
Where a claimant will struggle to manage without any payment for 5 weeks, they can request an Advance Payment. They can apply for this online, on their UC account. If they are unable to apply through their UC account, they can ring the UC Helpline.
An Advance Payment cannot be made until the claimant's (both claimants' if a couple) ID has been verified.
In 2020, due to the extremely high number of new claims, Advance Payments were paid even if ID had not been verified, but that was just a temporary measure.