You can apply for Universal Credit if you are under the UK state pension age, not in full time employment and need help with living costs. The current state pension age is 66, but please note that this will increase from 2026 onwards. You are able to apply for Universal Credit as soon as you receive a positive decision, even if you have yet to receive your BRP or proof of status. You’ll have to prove your identity once you have applied. You’ll need some identity documents for this, for example your:

       driving licence


       debit or credit card

       payslip or P60

The job centre will provide you with a full list of acceptable documents prior to your initial appointment to prove your identity. 

If you do not have these documents, you will need to discuss this at your initial appointment.



Citizens Advice | Help to Claim service

This can help with the early stages of your Universal Credit application, including making the application, interview guidance and advice on problems with payments.

       England - 0800 144 8444

       Wales - 0800 241 220

       Scotland - 0800 023 2581

       Not available in Northern Ireland

Universal Credit Helpline (you can ask for an interpreter)

       England, Wales, and Scotland - 0800 328 5644

       Northern Ireland - 0800 012 1331

Universal Credit online

You can also apply online, you’ll need: your bank, building society or credit union account details, an email address and access to a phone. If you do not have these, you can call the Universal Credit helpline or go to a jobcentre. You can also get support from the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service.

Universal Credit takes five weeks to be paid. Please ask about the advance payment at your first interview if you need to receive payments sooner; or if you have already had your first interview you can phone the Universal Credit Service Centre Helpline to ask for this.