CORONAVIRUS: If you are an existing Universal Credit claimant you will be paid as normal, you do not need to contact the DWP. Your Universal Credit account will be working and everything you need should be available in your account. Only contact the DWP by phone if it is urgent and you cannot use your online account.
Your Universal Credit account
Once you have successfully started your Universal Credit claim, you will be able to manage it via your online account.
You will use your online Universal Credit account to:
- See how much your Universal Credit payments are and how they have been worked out.
- Send messages to your Work Coach and read messages they send you.
- Report a change of circumstances.
- Keep a record of the things you’ve done to prepare for or look for work.
- Provide details about a health condition or disability.
- Record childcare costs.
- Check what you have agreed to do in your Claimant Commitment.
- Apply for an Advance.
IMPORTANT: you must tell the DWP about any changes in circumstances as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out on any extra benefit and to avoid overpayments.
Your online account will show your Universal Credit payments.
You can also see a breakdown of your payment so you know why you are getting that amount and check that it is correct. It will show if you are getting payments to help with housing or childcare costs, or if money has been taken off to pay back an Advance or other debts you may have.
Your payment will usually be shown a few days before the money is paid into your chosen account.
See Getting Paid for more information on payments.
Your ‘to do’ list
Things you need to do whilst on Universal Credit are set out in a ‘to do’ list on your online account. Be sure to login and check this on a regular basis.
Your ‘to do’ list will show the things that you need to do to complete your claim, or things that you have agreed to do as part of your Claimant Commitment.
Whenever a ‘to do’ is added to your list you will receive a notification by text or email – whichever method you chose when you first claimed.
You must complete these tasks otherwise your claim could be closed or you could be sanctioned. If you are ever asked to do something that you are unsure of or need help with contact your Work Coach or seek advice.
When you complete one of these tasks it will move from your ‘to do’ list to your ‘journal’.
IMPORTANT: If your contact details change, you must notify your Work Coach on the journal so you do not miss any instructions.
Your journal is your record of everything you’ve done whilst claiming Universal Credit.
You can also use your journal to send messages to your Work Coach, and they can use it to reply or send their own messages to you.
These online conversations will be saved here so that you and your Work Coach can look back to see what you have agreed.
If there is anything important in your journal that you would not want to lose, screen shot it and save it somewhere safe.
If you are required to look for work, you might set up an account on a website called ‘Find a job’.
You can use this site to look for work and keep a record of some of the things you’ve done to find a job.
You should use the journal to tell your Work Coach about things such as job applications, job interviews and any training you have done.
You can also use it to ask them for advice about looking for work, or what to ask at an interview.
If your Work Coach has something they want to share with you – such as a CV you have been working on together – this will also be stored here.
Watch our video below for more information on leaving a message for your Work Coach