You will need to make claims online. You will also need to make updates online if there are any changes to your circumstances. This includes moving house, moving in with your partner, having a child, and if you start or leave work.
The support you receive for housing costs will be paid directly to you instead of it going straight to your landlord, unless you choose otherwise. However, if you live in temporary or supported housing, the housing benefit part of your Universal Credit will go directly to your landlord to pay for your rent.
You will receive one payment per household. So if you and your partner live together, instead of both getting separate benefit payments, you will receive one joint payment based on your combined circumstances. However, if you are over the age of 18 and living at home or live with people who are not your partner, you will still be able to claim benefit payments in your own right.
You will get one payment per month, unless you choose otherwise. You will get this payment in arrears, and it will need to be paid into a bank account.
After you make your claim
After you make your claim you will need to book an appointment with the Jobcentre. This must be done within 7 days after making your claim. If you wait longer than this you may have to make your claim again, which would mean a longer wait for your first payment.
When you meet with your Work Coach you will agree a Claimant Commitment. This is a list of things you need to do in return for your payments - this includes attending appointments at the Jobcentre when asked.
If you don’t stick to this, DWP can stop or reduce your benefit - this is known as a sanction. The amount you lose and the number of days will depend on the reason for the sanction.
The most common reasons for having your benefits sanctioned are:
- Not doing enough to look for work.
- Being late for appointments or interviews.
- Not turning up to a meeting at the Jobcentre.
- Not taking part in an employment or training scheme.
Make sure you tell your Work Coach immediately if you can’t do something you’ve been asked to. This includes the ‘To Do’ items which will be sent to your Universal Credit online account.
If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you wait for your Universal Credit payment, you can apply for an advance payment.
You can ask for up to 100% of your estimated next payment.
You will pay the advance back from your Universal Credit payments over the following 12 months (or sooner).
How to apply
Speak to your Jobcentre Plus Work Coach or go online to apply for an Advance Payment. You’ll usually be told the same day you apply if you’ll get an advance.