Universal Credit

Frequently asked questions

How do I claim Universal Credit?

The first point of contact for Universal Credit (UC) Claims should be your work coach at the DWP.

If you require support and assistance to complete the claim online this can be obtained by calling Customer Services on 0300 123 0900. If you require digital access to enable you to complete an online claim our digital access and support directory is available.

If you are still struggling to understand your eligibility for Universal Credit or you have been sanctioned and need advice on what you can do we may be able to assist.

When I claim Universal Credit will this include a claim for help with my Council Tax?

No. Although the online claim asks if you are intending to claim Council Tax Support – you must make a claim separately. For more information please visit our Universal Credit page.

I’ve been told I have to have a bank account for my Universal Credit payments – is this true?

At the moment Universal Credit can be paid into a Post Office account (current account or Post Office Card Account) as well as bank accounts, some building society accounts, and credit union accounts.

If you have a Post Office Card Account, your DWP Work Coach at the Jobcentre may encourage you to open a bank account or credit union account instead. This is because the government would prefer you to have your Universal Credit payment paid into a bank account.

I have failed the Work Capability Assessment for claiming Employment Support Allowance and been advised by the DWP to claim Universal Credit, what can I do?

Everyone’s circumstances are different but there may be an option to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration and subsequently appeal and challenge this decision. We can look at your circumstances and advise if you are in a position to follow the appeal route. Before you decide to make your claim for Universal Credit under these circumstances contact the Information and Advice Hub and ask them to review your situation.

My work coach has placed sanctions on my Universal Credit Claim, I feel they are unfair, what can I do?

The Information and Advice Hub will look at the reasons behind the sanction and can guide you on the next steps to take if you need to challenge the sanction. If your sanction is fair and reasonable and you are struggling to manage your budget during the sanction period, hardship payments may be available and we can talk you through how to apply. In addition we can provide details on how to access other sources of assistance, for example Foodbank Vouchers.

To arrange an appointment with one of our advisors please call 0300 123 0900 and ask for the Information and Advice Hub; alternatively you can email us at informationandadvicehub@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or pop into your local customer service centre and they can make a referral to the service for you.

A directory of other services providing support across South Ayrshire, in a range of areas including digital support, welfare rights, money advice and personal budgeting is available by accessing the Signpost directory.