Steps you need to take to move to Universal Credit

Once you’ve received your Universal Credit Migration Notice letter, you’ll need to make a claim for Universal Credit to continue to get financial support. There will be a deadline in your letter. This is 3 months from the date the letter was sent out.

Prepare for your Universal Credit claim

To make your claim for Universal Credit as quick and easy as possible, it’s useful to have everything you need before you start. 

Under ‘What you need to apply’ there is a list of the documents you’ll need before you apply for Universal Credit.

If you’re coming from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), you won’t need another Work Capability Assessment (WCA) unless you have a change in your health or health condition. 

How long it takes to apply for Universal Credit

It will depend on your circumstances. It can take an hour or more to apply for Universal Credit if you’re doing it online. Having the right documents and information will help you to apply more quickly.  

How to claim Universal Credit

Most people make their Universal Credit claim online.  

If you’re unable to apply online contact the Help to Claim service.  

If you live with your partner as a couple, you will need to make a joint claim. To do this, one of you creates an account and sends your partner a code. They use this code to create their own account. Find out more about applying for Universal Credit as a couple.

Find out more about how to claim Universal Credit.  

The video below will show you what you need to do to apply for Universal Credit.

After you have applied for Universal Credit you’ll need to provide information so that the Department for Work and Pensions know you are, who you say you are. Most people can confirm their identity online but you may be asked to come into the jobcentre to verify your identity. If you’re unable to do so because of health reasons or work commitments, you can ask for a phone appointment. You can request one through your online journal.

Your claim will only be processed once your identity has been confirmed. 

What happens next

There is no need to call the Department for Work and Pensions while your claim is being processed. If your claim was made online, the Department for Work and Pensions will contact you if any further information is needed.  

The Department for Work and Pensions will never text or email you asking for personal information or bank details.  

You might need an appointment with the Universal Credit team if: 

  • they need more information 
  • you cannot verify your identity online 

You’ll be told if this appointment will be in a jobcentre or on the phone. 

You may have to go to a meeting to agree the activities in your claimant commitment before you can get your first payment.  

It usually takes around 5 weeks to get your first payment.