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How to claim universal credit

Claims for universal credit (UC) must be made online.

Apply for universal credit

Before making a claim, you need to gather the following information and have it ready:

  • your postcode
  • your National Insurance number
  • details of the bank, building society or Post Office account you want universal credit paid into
  • your rent agreement (if you have one)
  • details of your savings or other capital
  • details of any income that’s not from work (e.g. from an insurance plan)
  • details of any other benefits you’re getting
  • You might also need these details for people who live in your home, e.g. your partner.

If you need to claim Universal Credit but need support in claiming online, help is available through our Assisted Digital Support Service. Please get in touch by email moneyadvice@westlancs.gov.uk or call 01695 712 557. Skelmersdale (external link) and Ormskirk (external link) libraries offer assisted digital support to complete the online claim - contact them to book an appointment. 

Full information about how to claim universal credit is provided at gov.uk (external link)

Libraries and community centres

If you haven't got your own pc, computers can be used free of charge at local community centres, Skelmersdale (external link) and Ormskirk (external link) libraries, at Citizens' Advice (external link), and Birchwood Centre (external link).

You need to be a library member to use the computers at local libraries. You can join free of charge at your local library or online at Libraries (external link). Free wi-fi is available in all libraries.

What happens after a claim for UC is made?

  • You will be contacted by the Department of Work and Pensions and asked to attend an interview.
  • As part of your agreement to receiving UC, you will need to sign a claimant commitment. This will give details of what is expected of you in order to continue receiving your UC – this will involve an expectation that you will spend 35 hours per week looking for work.
  • If you are working part-time, you will be expected to demonstrate you are looking for more hours or an additional job.
  • Failing to keep to your claimant commitment will mean you could be ‘sanctioned’ – which means your benefit will be reduced for a period.

You can also watch the helpful video below for a service overview.

If you have problems with the video above you can view it by visiting YouTube (external link).