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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

How can I claim Universal Credit?

You claim Universal Credit online

Call 0800 012 1331 for help making the online application or if you cannot claim online.

Claiming as a couple

Both members of a couple need to set up their own Universal Credit account. 

You can then link these accounts using a "linking code".  Watch this video to find out more about claiming as a couple

Setting up your Universal Credit account. 

You need an email address to claim. 

Go to the claim page on Gov.uk.

  • Create a username - this should be something you'll remember
  • Create a password - something that you'll remember but that other people won't guess
  • Choose 2 security questions from a list and record the answers
  • Enter your name, date of birth, address and email address
  • Universal Credit will now email you a special code. 
  • You have to enter this code into your application within 15 minutes.

Next, you have to

  • enter your phone number
  • enter the code texted to your phone number
  • enter your postcode
  • choose your address.

Your account is set up once you've finished these steps. But, you still have to make your actual claim. 

Claiming Universal Credit. 

Gather up all the information you need to help make your claim. You will need

  • Your national insurance number
  • Information about your rent or mortgage and service charges
  • Your landlord’s details
  • Information about your salary and other earnings
  • Information about your savings
  • Details for all the people who live with you
  • Your childcare provider’s registration number
  • Information about your condition or a note from your doctor, if you are unable to work due to illness
  • Your bank account details
  • Your linking code if your partner has already set up a UC account.

Adding your details

Your account will have a list of "to-dos". You have to complete all these sections before you send your claim. 

Go through each one of these sections and answer the questions asked.

You need to tick a declaration to say that all the information in your account is true and accurate. Ticking this box sends your claim to Universal Credit. 

The next step is to prove or "verify" that the information you've provided is true.

Proving your claim

You need to prove or verify some of your claim, including 

  • your identity
  • your rent or mortgage costs
  • that you have children
  • that you are unable to work.

You may be able to prove your identity online with a passport or driving license. You can verify your identity with your work coach if the online system won’t accept your ID.

Your work coach

Everyone who claims Universal Credit gets a work coach. Your work coach

  • meets with you to check your documents
  • decides whether you need to look for work or not
  • helps you to look for suitable work or training
  • answers your questions about your claim.

You have to talk to your work coach within 7 days of making your online claim. Call 0800 012 1331 to set up a meeting. Universal Credit can cancel your claim if you do not set up or go to this meeting. 

You may have to bring information to this meeting or upload documents to your online journal. This could include

  • your tenancy agreement
  • your children's birth certificates
  • doctors' notes
  • receipts from your childcarer

Your agreement to look for work

You only get Universal Credit if you agree to look for work. 

Some people may not have to agree to look for work because

  • they have very young children, or
  • they are already working or are self-employed, or
  • they have caring responsibilities, or
  • they are over pension age, or
  • they are ill or disabled and cannot work because of this.

Your work coach will talk to you to see how many hours each week you should spend looking or preparing for work. They can decide to reduce your payment if you are not doing enough to find work.