How to apply for Universal Credit in 2022: a guide

8 December 2022 by Robin - 5 minutes of reading time

apply for universal credit

How can I apply for Universal Credit? What do I need to do? This benefit is relatively new. Indeed, you can apply for it online. You may wish to do so. Then, this article will tell you everything you need to know.

How to apply for Universal Credit

The way that you apply for Universal Credit is online. You need to create an online account, on the Gov.UK website. Then, you will use this account to submit your claim. It will have to be done no later than 28 days after you create your account. Otherwise, you will have to start over.

You may live with a partner. If this is the case, both of you will have to create an account. In fact, you will link them later, at the time of your claim. It is not possible to claim this benefit by yourself if you have a partner.
You may not want to claim online. If this is the case, you may do so by phone. For this, call the Universal Credit helpline.

What do I need to apply for Universal Credit?

There are a number of things you need in order to claim Universal Credit? First, to apply online, you must have to following:

How to apply for Universal Credit

  • An email address;
  • The ability to access a phone;
  • The details of your credit union, building society or bank account.

You may not have these things. Don’t worry. If this is the case, you may go in person to a jobcentre, or call the Universal Credit helpline.

You will then need additional information. Indeed, this is in order to prove your identity. The documents you can use for this include your:

  • Passport;
  • Driving licence;
  • P60 or payslip;
  • Credit or debit card.

Then, you will need additional documents to finish you claim. Indeed, you will need to provide documents for your:

  • Income (you may provide payslips, for example);
  • Housing (you can show documents that indicate your rent);
  • Childcare (you may show how much you pay if you want to receive help to cover the costs);
  • Savings and investments (this includes any property that you rent, and shares you own, for example);
  • Health condition or disability (this is if said condition affects your (ability to) work).

The Universal Credit team might ask to have an appointment with you. This is if they can’t verify who you are, or require additional information. Then, you may need to have an appointment in person or over the phone. In-person would be in a Jobcentre.

Can I receive help with my Universal Credit claim?

You may receive help when you apply for Universal Credit. Indeed, you may call the Universal Credit helpline

You do not need to pay anything in order to call the Universal Credit helpline. Indeed, calls to them are free. You may call them at 0800 328 5644. Furthermore, you may text them at 0800 328 1344.

Additional services are available if you need them. For example, you may use the BSL video relay service if you are unable to speak or hear over the phone.

You may have already claimed Universal Credit before. You may also have received a payment in the past 6 months. If this is the case, you only need to log in to your online account. Indeed, it will start the new claim.

You may not have received a payment in the past 6 months. If this is the case, you will then need to make a new claim.

Will my other benefits be impacted if I apply for Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a benefit replacing a number of other benefits. As such, you may be eligible for it if you were previously earning the following:

You or your partner may apply for Universal Credit. Then, you will no longer receive payments for your previous benefit (listed above). Furthermore, you will not be able to make a claim for the benefit you earned previously.

How to apply for a budgeting advance Universal Credit

You may be able to get an advance on your first payment. Indeed, this may be to cover living costs or bills. You may not earn just any amount as an advance. In fact, you can only earn up to the amount of your first payment. Note that this is an advance. As such, you will need to pay it back.

How to apply for Universal Credit advance

How to apply for a budgeting advance Universal Credit

You may apply for an advance online or with your work coach. You will need to do the following:

  • Give the reasons why you must have an advance;
  • Verify your identity (you will be able to do this when applying over the phone with your work coach or online);
  • Give the details of your bank account (this is to receive your advance. If you are unable to open an account, ask your work coach).

How do pay back my advance?

You may pay back your advance with your first Universal Credit payment. You can then chose how long you will take to pay back the rest. Typically, the time limit to pay back an advance is:

  • 12 months for those who applied prior to 12 April 2021;
  • 24 months for those who applied on or later than 12 April 2021.

Now, let’s look at an example. Here are is a baseline of what you could receive with Universal Credit:

Universal Credit standard allowance rates in 2022
Your personal circumstance Standard allowance rate (per month)
You have a partner, and at least one of you is 25 years or older £509.91 (for the couple)
You have a partner, and you are both younger than 25 years old £403.93 (for the couple)
You are younger than 25 years old and single £257.33
You are 25 years or older and single £324.84

Then, let’s say that your first payment is estimated at £330. Then, your advance could be £330. Furthermore, you chose to pay over 24 months.
Indeed, that’s £13.75 per month. Then, your first payment would be £330-£13.75, or £316,25.

Autres questions fréquentes

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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