Extra help to make or maintain your Universal Credit claim
You can get help to claim Universal Credit and get other support if you have additional needs.
If you need an interpreter
If you need an interpreter to help you make your claim to Universal Credit you can request this through your online account, or by contacting the Universal Credit Service Centre or your local Jobs and Benefits office.
You can find a Universal Credit fact-sheet, published in different languages, on Universal Credit customer information
If you have a health condition
If you are unable to claim Universal Credit online due to your visual impairment, you can claim by contacting the Universal Credit Service Centre. You may also be entitled to further financial support for people with disabilities.
If you have hearing difficulties, you can contact the Universal Credit Service Centre using the British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service or the Irish Sign Language (ISL) video relay service. Alternatively, you can call the Service Centre on Text-phone 0800 012 1441.
If you have a motor impairment that would impact your ability to make and maintain your Universal Credit claim online, you can claim by contacting the Universal Credit Service Centre.
Other health conditions
If you have any other health conditions, including disabilities, mental health conditions, cognitive or learning difficulties which may make it hard for you to claim Universal Credit, contact the Universal Credit Service Centre.
A simple guide is available on Universal Credit and you easy read
Unsure what benefits you can get or need digital help
To make sure you receive the benefits, supports and services you may be entitled to, contact Make the Call Service and speak to an adviser.
If you would like independent help and advice on Universal Credit or any other welfare changes, you can visit any independent advice office like Advice NI or Housing Rights NI.
You may also be able to get free access to a computer and internet in your local library.
If you are unable to use the internet you may be able to make a telephone claim by contacting the Universal Credit Service Centre.
If your circumstances mean you need more support
If you are a Care leaver
A care leaver is a person who has been in the care of a local authority or Health & Social Care Trust (HSCT).
If you are a care leaver you may be able to make an online claim to Universal Credit. You should claim as soon as possible to make sure you receive the correct support.
If you do not have anywhere to live or need help with housing when you leave care see the paragraph on homeless below, or you can find housing support online.
If you are impacted by Domestic Violence
If you receive Universal Credit and experience domestic abuse, you can contact Universal Credit in confidence by phone, for example to ask for any Universal Credit payments to be split between you and your partner.
Some Jobs and Benefits offices provide the Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) scheme, to support people who are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help.
When you ask for ANI you will be offered a private space, provided with a phone and asked if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.
Use the postcode checker to find your nearest Ask for ANI provider.
More information is available at:
If you are homeless
Universal Credit is claimed online, and you can get Help with your Universal Credit claim if you need more support. Your local Jobs & Benefits office works with homeless support organisations who will be able to advise on what local support is available.
Help with housing and homelessness
If you are homeless or at risk of losing your home, further information is available at Homelessness. For more information and help with keeping your home, homelessness and evictions, you can contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).
If you are a prison leaver
Before your release from prison, you should check information about benefits to help you claim as soon as possible.
If you have just left prison you may be entitled to Universal Credit. You should claim immediately or as soon as possible after your release, as claims are not backdated.
You can get information for prisoners about benefits, and further support for prison leavers is available at Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NIACRO) and Familysupportni.gov.uk
If you are a refugee or evacuee
If you are a refugee, or have been granted humanitarian protection or discretionary leave, you can apply for benefits in the same way as a UK national. You may be able to claim Universal Credit and you can get more information on Benefits for non-UK nationals.
If you need someone to manage your claim for you
You can ask a representative or appointee to manage your claim for you, or arrange for a friend, relative or professional to have ‘power of attorney’ to allow them to act for you.
More information on how to do this is available at Unable to manage your Universal Credit claim by yourself.