Your step-by-step guide to making and maintaining your Universal Credit claim. 

1. Get an email address

1. Get an email address

You need to have an email address when you apply for Universal Credit. If you are claiming as a couple, you will each need your own email address. 

If you are struggling to create an email address, there is help available. Contact Reach, our employment and training hub, on 0151 285 5680, who will put you in touch with someone who can help. 

2. Open a bank or credit union account

2. Open a bank account

You need to have a bank or credit union account when you are making your claim. This is the best way that your Universal Credit payment can be paid to you.

If you haven’t got a bank account when you submit your claim, you can give your bank details to your work coach at your interview. More help on opening a bank account.

3. Verify yourself online

3. Verify yourself online

To submit a claim for Universal Credit you need to verify your identity online. This is to prove you are who you say you are.

Go to Don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to do this before you claim for Universal Credit, just ring the helpline on 0800 328 5644 and ask for an appointment to verify your identity.

4. Make your claim

4. Make your claim

Great news! You’re now ready to make your claim. You can do this at

You will also need: your national insurance number, details of how much rent you pay, information about your income such as pay slips, details of any savings and childcare payment costs if necessary. If you need help making your claim, our benefits advisors can help you.

5. Meet your work coach

5. Meet your work coach

When you make a claim you will be asked to make an appointment with a work coach at the job centre.

At this appointment you will go through your Claimant Commitment and agree what you need to do to prepare for and look for work, or to increase your earnings if you are already working.

Each time it is updated, you will need to sign a new Claimant Commitment to keep receiving Universal Credit.

6. Claim Council Tax Support

If you get Council Tax Support, this will stop as soon as you make a claim for Universal Credit. You need to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support at the same time you apply for Universal Credit.

It is really important that you do this immediately as it cannot be backdated.

Claim Council Tax Support here or speak to one of our benefits advisors.

7. Pay your rent

It is your responsibility that your rent is paid. Your claim will consist of a personal allowance and a housing cost.

You will receive this in your bank account as one monthly Universal Credit payment. You will need to pay SLH your full rent payment immediately.

If you don’t, you will fall into rent arrears and this this could put you at risk of losing your home.

More help about paying your rent.

8. View your journal

8. View your journal each day

You need to view and update your online journal every day.

You will use this journal to record what activities you have completed and make contact with your work coach.

You need to do this daily otherwise your Universal Credit payments will stop.

Need some help? Get in touch