Claim Universal Credit online

Before you create an online account to claim for Universal Credit, please read the important information below. You will be able to claim online from the bottom of the page.

Before you start

You will need the following information to hand:

  • your postcode
  • an email address
  • details of the bank or building society you want Universal Credit paid into
  • details of your housing costs (rent)
  • if applicable, your landlord’s details
  • details of your savings or other capital
  • details of any income that’s not from work, for example, from an insurance plan
  • details of any other benefits you’re getting
  • details of people who live in your home, for example, your partners and children

When making your claim you will be set tasks called ‘to-dos’ that will tell you exactly what steps you need to take. 

Important information when creating your account

Housing

If you are a householder and live in rented accommodation owned by a private landlord, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a Housing Association, you will be asked a number of questions:

  • ‘Do you pay rent, own your own home or get Housing Benefit?’
    You should answer ‘Yes’
  • ‘What is your current housing situation?’
    If your landlord is the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a Housing Association, you should select the ‘Rent from council or housing association’ option
  • ‘How much rent do you pay?’
    You should enter only the amount you pay for rent. Do not include any rates paid or any service charges. Details of service charges you pay will be asked for separately

The Housing Element of your Universal Credit will be paid directly to your Landlord, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, or your Housing Association.  If your calculated Housing Element does not cover the full amount of your rent, you will need to pay the rest yourself.

If your Universal Credit payment is less than your Housing Element because of deductions, then the whole of your Universal Credit payment will be paid directly to your Landlord, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or your Housing Association. 

You may be able to opt out of the direct payment arrangement and pay your rent yourself if you meet certain criteria.  The Department for Communities (DfC) can discuss this with you once you make your claim. 

The Housing Element of your Universal Credit award will not include any allowance for rates. If you are liable for rates and are entitled to Universal Credit, you may be eligible for help with them. For more information, visit the Rate Rebate Scheme.

Local authority and councils

You will see references to local authority and councils. In Northern Ireland this means the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Housing Association or Health and Social Care Trusts.

Civil penalties

You will see references to civil penalties. These do not currently apply in Northern Ireland. 

Conditionality sanctions

If you don't meet the conditions of entitlement for Universal Credit, you may be sanctioned for up to 18 months.  

Fraud penalties

You may be prosecuted or face a financial penalty if you give false information.

After you claim

When you put in your claim, you may be asked to provide evidence confirming information you’ve given, such as bank statements. This evidence should be provided within one calendar month. If the information doesn’t match, your claim will be reviewed using the new information you have provided.

You’ll need to book an appointment via the Universal Credit Service Centre to agree your Commitment. You'll be advised how to book this once you have set up your online account.

You will use your online account to communicate with your Work Coach and report any changes in your circumstances. 

Payments

Your Universal Credit entitlement will be calculated monthly and, if entitled, you will be paid twice a month.  This means your first payment will be for 50 per cent of your monthly entitlement with the rest following a couple of weeks later.

If you would like to receive your Universal Credit in one monthly payment, DfC can discuss this with you once you have made your claim. 

Advances

An advance of your Universal Credit payment may be available once your identity has been verified. To apply for an advance, contact the Universal Credit Service Centre (the number will be available through your online account) or speak to your work coach.

Sharing information

DfC may use and share the information which it obtains now, or may get in the future, with partner organisations to help decide whether you are entitled to:

  • the benefit you are claiming
  • any other benefit you have claimed
  • any other benefit you may claim or be awarded in the future

The information may also be shared to prevent and detect fraud.

Video of the online application

The following video takes you through the steps of the online application process.

How to apply

Use the link below to apply for Universal Credit.

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What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email:
rating@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about property valuation, email:
valuation@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about land registry, email:
CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk

For mapping queries, email:
Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.