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Eligibility and how to apply

Who is eligible to apply for Universal Credit?

A single working age person must meet all of the DWP’s eligibility criteria before applying for Universal Credit. Claimants who don’t can’t apply for Universal Credit, but can still make a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

To apply for Universal Credit you must:

  • have a valid bank, building society, post office or credit union account and National Insurance number;
  • be single and aged between 18 and 60 years and 6 months;
  • be a British citizen, resident in the UK for the last two years and not absent for any period of four weeks or more;
  • not be pregnant nor have given birth within the last 15 weeks;
  • not have any dependent children living with you some or all of the time nor be liable to pay child support maintenance;
  • not be an adopter with whom a child is expected to be placed within the first two months of the UC claim or a foster parent;
  • not be homeless, in supported or temporary accommodation;
  • not own or partially own the home you live in;
  • be fit for work and not considered as having limited capability for work;
  • not be receiving existing benefits or tax credits, nor awaiting a decision on, nor be appealing against, a decision not to award any of those;
  • not be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP);
  • be unemployed or declared earned income for the first month of the Universal Credit claim is not expected to exceed £330;
  • not have any caring responsibilities;
  • not be self-employed, in education nor have a person acting on your behalf over your claim; and
  • capital must not exceed £6000.

For further information about eligibility, contact the DWP’s Universal Credit helpline on:

  • telephone: 0345 600 0723
  • textphone: 0345 600 0743

How to apply for Universal Credit

Universal credit applications must be made online.

Please ensure you have the following information to hand as you will be unable to save and return to your application later:

  • your National Insurance number
  • details of the bank, building society, post office or credit union account you want Universal Credit paid into (account number and sort code)
  • your rent agreement (if you have one)
  • details of your savings or other capital
  • details of any income that's not from work (e.g from an insurance plan
  • details of any other benefits you're getting.

Complete the DWP online application form.

Computer access

If you don’t have access to a computer at home, South Ayrshire libraries’ members can book a 2 hour session on a library computer, including internet access, and there is no charge for this service. If you are not a library member, here’s how to join.

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