If you are a single person applying for benefits for the first time, you will now be placed onto Universal Credit.

This is a new type of benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. It replaces six existing benefits and is currently being rolled out across the UK. The new system is based on a single monthly payment, transferred directly into a bank account. At present Universal Credit only affects newly unemployed people in certain areas of the country. It will however apply to all benefit claimants in the near future.

You need to apply for Universal Credit online. It takes about 40 minutes to an hour to complete the application - and needs to be done in one go, as you cannot save a partially completed application and come back to it later.

Before you start please make sure that you have all the following information to hand. This will mean that you only have to do the application once, and help you to get Universal Credit as quickly as possible.

  • Your postcode
  • Your National Insurance (NI) number.  You can find this on a payslip or letter from the H.M. Revenue & Customs. Call their helpline on 0300 200 3500 (or textphone 0300 200 3519) if you can’t find it
  • Details of your bank, building society, credit union or Post Office card account (if you don’t have one of these, you'll need to open an account or use simple payment)
  • How much rent you pay. If you do not know this, call us on 0345 850 9994
  • Luminus’ address, which is: Brook House, Ouse Walk, Huntingdon PE29 3QW
  • Our phone number: 0345 850 9994
  • Details of your savings and any other "capital" investments such as shares
  • Details of any income that is not from work, e.g. from a pension or insurance plan
  • Details of how much you earn from work, e.g recent payslips
  • How much you pay for childcare (if you want to claim for childcare costs)
  • Details of any other benefits you’re getting, i.e. what benefit and how much you get
  • Child Benefit reference numbers for any children you have if you get child benefit. This can be found on letters to you about Child Benefit - it will start with 'CHB' and is made up of 8 numbers and 2 letters, e.g. CHB12345678 AB. Phone the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 (textphone 0300 200 3103) if you need help.

Please note that the website does not issue a receipt for your claim, so it is a good idea to do your own screenprint so that you have proof you have made the claim.

After you submit your claim you may be invited for an interview with the DWP, so you’ll need to gather all the documents together.

If you need advice on Universal Credit, please contact our Income & Benefits Advisor.