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Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly – or twice a month for some people in Scotland.

Making a Claim

Before you apply for Universal Credit you’ll need to gather some information together. This will help you make sure you only have to do the application once, and help you to get Universal Credit as quickly as possible if you’re eligible.

  • your postcode
  • your NI (National Insurance) number – call the HMRC helpline on 0300 200 3500 if you can’t find it
  • details of your bank, building society or credit union account and an account statement
  • the type of accommodation you have, eg private rented or housing association tenant (eg Thirteen)
  • a copy of your tenancy/rent agreement – ask your landlord for a copy if you don’t have one
  • your landlord’s address and telephone number
  • details of any savings or capital you have
  • details of any income that’s not from work, eg from a pension or insurance plan, welfare benefits
  • details of how much you earn from work, eg recent payslips
  • details of what other people in your household earn (pay and/or benefits)
  • how much you pay for childcare (if you want to claim for childcare costs)
  • child benefit reference numbers for any children you have if you get child benefit – phone the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 if you need help
  • identity evidence (eg Passport, driving licence). You can verify your identify on-line or at the Job Centre
  • remember to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support – It is not included in your Universal Credit claim.

Getting an e-mail address

There are a number of companies that you can set up an e-mail address with. A list of some of the main companies is at the bottom of this list. The steps below show how to set up an e-mail account with Gmail but we cannot recommend any particular company – we have just chosen Gmail as it is one that many people may have heard of.

Remember – You will need to have a password that you can remember but other people will not know.

How to set up Gmail address:

  1. Go to this link:
    Choose `Create a gmail account`
  2. Enter your first and last name.
  3. Enter the username you’d like to use for the account. You may need to add numbers or use a different name if the one you’d like is already in use.
  4. Enter and confirm the password you’ll use for the account.
  5. Google will need to send you a text message for security reasons. Enter your phone number.
  6. Enter the code you receive via text message.
  7. Enter a backup e-mail address if you have one. This can be used to help you recover your account if you are locked out.
  8. Enter your birthday and preferred gender.
  9. Read and accept the terms and conditions. You can also choose which data Google collects about you.
  10. Now you have an e-mail account.

Support in Making a Claim

The link below provides information on where you can access support for making a claim for Universal Credit including the type of support you can receive, whether this is to set up an email account, general help with using a computer or full support in making a UC application.

Factsheet – Support making a claim

Jargon Buster

Online journalThe name given to the claimant’s online UC account. It is used to manage their claim, communicate with the DWP and check their payment statements. Work coaches can add ‘actions’ for the claimant to complete in the online journal, and the claimant can use it to send messages to their work coach.
Legacy benefitsThis refers to the 6 working age benefits that will be replaced by UC: • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) • Income-related Employment Support Allowance (ESA) • Housing Benefit (HB) • Income Support (IS) • Child Tax Credits (CTC) • Working Tax Credits (WTC)
VerifyA website used by the government to verify someone’s identity. People claiming UC are asked to upload evidence or documents to Verify to prove their identity e.g. a passport or driving licence.
Assessment periodThe month during which someone’s income is assessed, when the amount of UC they’ll get is calculated. Claimants are assessed every month while they’re on UC – once one monthly assessment period ends, the next one starts.
Maximum amountThis is the maximum amount of UC someone is eligible for before a means test has been applied. This is made up of a basic ‘standard allowance’ and extra payment ‘elements’ that might apply depending on someone’s circumstances. For example if they look after a child.
Work allowanceThe amount someone can earn before they’ll start to get paid less UC. This will vary depending on a person’s circumstances.
Taper rateOnce someone earns more than their work allowance, their UC payment will start to be reduced. The taper rate indicates the amount of UC lost for each extra pound earned. The taper rate of 63% means for each extra pound earned, the UC payment is reduced by 63p.
To-doAn action added to a client’s online journal for them to complete. This could be to do with their claim or search for work.
New style JSA and ESAThese are the replacements to contribution based JSA and ESA. A client may also be eligible for UC.
Transitional protectionA payment to help clients who get less when they’re moved from an old benefit to UC. Clients who move to UC by ‘natural migration’ will not get transitional protection.
Natural migration‘Migration’ is the process of moving onto UC from legacy benefits. Natural migration refers to people who are currently on legacy benefits but have to make a new claim for UC due to a change in their circumstances, for example, failing a Work Capability Assessment. For those naturally migrating to UC, transitional protection does not apply.
Managed migrationManaged migration involves the DWP ending a claimant’s legacy benefit claim and replacing it with UC. For this group, transitional protection will apply for those whose entitlement under UC is lower than what they were receiving on legacy benefits. The process of managed migration is currently due to start in 2019 and be completed in 2022.