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Universal Credit FAQs

Love Middlesbrough website

On this page, we’ve answered some of the questions about Universal Credit which have been asked by lots of Middlesbrough residents.

When will I get my first payment?

You should get your first payment 5 weeks after you make your claim, as long as you've given the Jobcentre all the information they need to work out how much Universal Credit you can get.

What help is there if I need money before I get my first Universal Credit payment?

Once you've shown proof of your identity to the Jobcentre, and they've confirmed that you're able to get Universal Credit, you can ask for an advanced payment.

You can do this either by speaking to your work coach in person, or asking for an advanced payment online using your Universal Credit journal. Find out more about advanced payments.

If you can't get an advanced payment, you might be able to get short term, emergency support by calling the council's Community Support team on 0808 178 9278.

I'll struggle being paid monthly instead of every two weeks – what can I do?

You should speak to your work coach as soon as possible to find out whether you could get an alternative payment arrangement (for example, being paid every two weeks).

If you'll struggle to make your money last until the end of the month, or make sure all your bills get paid, you should tell your work coach as soon as possible, as they can help you get budgeting advice.

What is budgeting advice?

Budgeting support can help you to identify your most important bills, and convert what you spend from weekly to monthly. It can also offer support and guidance on less important spending. If you do need help, you can ask your work coach at the Jobcentre for more information, or you can contact the Money Advice Service.

What happens when I've made my claim?

Once you've made your claim, you'll need to ring the Universal Credit hotline and make an appointment so they can verify your identity. The number you need to ring will be shown on the screen after you've made your claim online.

You'll need to ring up and make your appointment straight away. If you don't make an appointment, your claim will be cancelled and you won't get any Universal Credit.

Do I need anything specific to claim Universal Credit?

To claim Universal Credit you'll need:

  • your bank, building society, or credit union account details (call the Universal Credit helpline if you don't have one of these)
  • an email address
  • your National Insurance number
  • information about your housing, for example how much rent you pay
  • details of your income, for example payslips
  • details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
  • details of how much you pay for childcare (if you're applying for help with childcare costs)

If you don't provide the right information when you apply it might affect when you get paid, or how much you get.

You also have to verify your identity online. You'll need some proof of identity for this, for example your:

  • driving licence
  • passport
  • debit or credit card

Is there somewhere I can use a computer for free to make a claim?

We have a list of all the places across Middlesbrough where computers can be used for free. You can see all the locations and addresses on a Google Map or in a table. You can also see the opening times and number of computers available.

I don't have a bank account – can the council help me get one?

We can show you how and where to apply for a basic bank account. Come to the Customer Centre at Middlesbrough House (Corporation Road) and an advisor will help you.

I need help and my question hasn't been answered on this page

If your question still hasn't been answered, you’ll need to call the Universal Credit helpline.

Telephone: 0800 328 5644

Textphone: 0800 328 1344

The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.