How to apply for Universal Credit

Before making a claim

You must have a bank account to receive Universal Credit payments. See the money advice website for advice on opening a bank account  If you are unable to open a bank account, contact the UC helpline.

You will find the application process easier if you prepare before making a claim.

How to make a claim

You must apply for UC online on the DWP website.

If you live with a partner (you do not need to be married) you must apply as a couple. If you are worried your partner won’t allow you to access the payment, contact the UC helpline to discuss alternative payment arrangements.

If you feel you are unable to use a computer to make your claim, you will need to call the free DWP UC helpline 0800 328 9344. The DWP will be able to direct you to the best support for you. 

Don’t have access to the internet 

If you don’t have access to the internet, there are places in Brent that provide free internet access including Harlesden and Wembley Jobcentres and Brent libraries.

Help completing the form

If you need help completing the online application form, the staff at your Jobcentre will be able to help you.

After your initial application, you will be able to access your account through the online portal (this will be known as your online journal), where you will be able to track your application and update your details.

What happens after I make a claim?

After submitting your claim online, you will be given a phone number - you will be asked to call this number to book an interview with your  ‘work coach’. You must book the appointment within one month of making your claim. If you don’t, you will need to re-apply for UC.

The interview will be a conversation between you and your work coach at Wembley or Harlesden Jobcentre to:

• Confirm your identity and circumstances
• See if you will need support to manage your budget
• Create a commitment- what you will do in return for receiving Universal Credit
• Make sure you understand Universal Credit and what will happen in the following stages of your application

You will usually receive your first payment 5 weeks after applying.

Please note that UC payments do not include Council Tax Support - you must make a claim through Brent Council. 

To check what you need to apply and for more information about making a claim, see the DWP website.