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Universal Credit

Universal Credit is money to help with your living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.

Who can claim

You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or need help with your living costs. You could be:

  • out of work
  • working (including self-employed or part time)
  • unable to work, for example because of a health condition.

To claim you must:

  • live in the UK
  • be aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
  • be under State Pension age
  • have £16,000 or less in money, savings and investments.

You may be able to get an extra amount of Universal Credit if you have a health condition or disability that prevents you from working or preparing for work and you applied for Universal Credit before 3 April 2017.

Before you claim

If you already get benefits or tax credits, check if you’ll be better off on Universal Credit before you or your partner claim it.

To check if you’re better off, you can:

How to claim

You can apply for Universal Credit online.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, go to Universal Credit: How to claim (GOV.UK)

If you live in Northern Ireland, go to Universal Credit in Northern Ireland (nidirect.gov.uk)

If you have accessibility needs

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and cannot claim online, you can claim through the Universal Credit helpline in different ways:

0800 328 5644
Welsh language (telephone)
0800 328 1744
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone)
18001 then 0800 328 5644
BSL video relay service
Contact service
0800 328 1344

Find out about call charges (GOV.UK)

Support to make a claim

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales

You can get free support from trained advisers to make a Universal Credit claim.

The Help to Claim service is provided by Citizens Advice and is confidential:

Get help to claim if you live in England or Wales (Citizens Advice)

Get help to claim if you live in Scotland (Citizens Advice)

If you live in Northern Ireland

Citizens Advice provides a list of organisations you can contact for support:

Get advice in Northern Ireland (Citizens Advice)

If you use sign language, you can find out more about Universal Credit through nidirect YouTube videos:

Universal Credit explained – British Sign Language (YouTube)
Universal Credit explained – Irish sign language (YouTube)

If you need more help with benefits

Find out what benefits you’re entitled to

To find out which benefits you can claim, use the online Turn2us benefits calculator.

Get support in sign language

To get benefits advice or support in British Sign Language (BSL), contact the deafPLUS Advice Line They also have an online service to help you find local benefits advisors.

Get in touch

We’re unable to provide benefits advice at RNID, but we’ll let you know where to get the information and support you need. Contact us

Page last updated: 8 March 2024

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