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Help to make a claim for Universal Credit

Advice and practical support to make a claim for Universal Credit.

There's no paper claim form for Universal Credit (UC). Most people will be expected to make a claim for Universal Credit online. Before you start your online claim it's a good idea to get ready for Universal Credit to check you have everything you need, for example information on any income you get and suitable ID.

If you can't claim online, you can ask to claim by telephone, or face-to-face. You'll need to contact your local job centre or the Universal Credit helpline to discuss this and show why you cannot claim online, tel: 0800 328 5644 or textphone: 0800 328 1344 (both these numbers are free to use). Jobcentre Plus will only accept such claims in 'exceptional circumstances'.

If you feel you could make the claim online if you had access to the internet or a bit of help, there's support available to help you do this.

Help and advice making an online claim

Email address

You'll need an email address to make a claim for Universal Credit. If you've already got an email address check you can access it before you make a claim. If you need help or advice to create an email account, please see the 'help to make free email account' fact sheet attached to this page.

Computer and internet access

You can make a claim for Universal Credit on a smartphone or tablet, but it's easier and less fiddly if you do it on computer or a laptop.

If you feel you have the IT skills to make the claim yourself but don't have access to the internet, you may be able to book a slot to use a computer at:

  • Derbyshire libraries
  • your local jobcentre
  • your local borough or district council
  • other community venues

A list of venues offering computer access in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire is attached to this page.

If you've got a portable tablet, laptop or smartphone of your own, you may be able to use public wifi at libraries, job centres or public offices to make and manage a UC claim.

Other help

The 'Universal Credit − making a claim' factsheet attached to this page gives an overview of making an online claim.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have produced a series of short videos that explains the process of making an online claim for Universal Credit step by step.

The DWP have also produced a factsheet called your claim journey.

Practical support to make an online claim

It may be that you need help from another person to make an online claim.

Help from family and friends

If you feel you haven't got the IT skills to make an online claim yourself, think about whether a family member or friend could help you.

Once you've claimed online you'll be expected to carry on managing your claim online (for example, reporting changes in circumstances). So, unless you're able to manage yourself after receiving an initial bit of help, make sure you'll have someone who's able to help you in the future too.

Services in your local area to support with Universal Credit

Citizens Advice help to claim advisers can help you to work out your entitlement to Universal Credit, make a claim, prepare for your first appointments with the Jobcentre and check that your first payment is correct.

Call the freephone number, tel: 0800 144 8444.

Help from library staff

A number of Derbyshire libraries can offer help with claiming Universal Credit and searching for work online. You can book a one-to-one session (up to 75 minutes) to get help with IT skills and online applications.

If you wish to book a session or find out more, contact your nearest library or the Derbyshire Library Information Service:

Adult education courses

Derbyshire Adult Education Centres offer courses to help with computer skills. Some offer specific courses to help with claiming Universal Credit and getting into work.

You can contact your local centre or search for a course online.

Further help and advice

We have details of other organisations who can help with claiming and preparing for Universal Credit.