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Claiming Universal Credit

The Government expects almost everyone to claim Universal Credit online (opens new window) and to have an online account (opens new window).

This means when you apply for Universal Credit you will need an email address. If you don't already have one you will need to set one up. 

You will need to prove who you are online. Introducing GOV.UK Verify (opens new window) provides more information on how to do this. 

You will also need:

  • your postcode
  • your National Insurance number

If you are not eligible to claim Universal Credit, other benefits will be listed that you might be eligible for. 

Find out more about how Universal Credit is calculated and how to claim as a couple (opens new window).

Help to claim

Citizens Advice Gateshead provide a service to help people to claim. This service can be accessed online through webchat, over the phone or face to face. The first stage is an assessment of your individual needs.

They will then support you to start a claim, including checking whether you should apply for Universal Credit, setting up an email address or Universal Credit account, and accessing the Universal Credit phone claim service or the DWP home visit service.

If needed, they can also help:

  • verify your identity
  • advise on what additional evidence to provide and how to do this
  • prepare you to deal with a monthly payment
  • enquire about direct payments to a landlord
  • enquire about having health or other issues taken into account in your claim
  • apply for additional financial support

Citizens Advice can also signpost or refer you to other services for further help or longer-term support.

For more information please visit Citizens Advice Gateshead (opens new window)

Phone support: 0800 144 8 444 (freephone)

If it is not possible to support you online or over the phone, an appointment will be made for you to attend your local Citizens Advice office.

PCs for public use are available at Citizens Advice Gateshead, Davidson Building, Swan Street, Gateshead NE8 1BG.

Help to get online 

The Jobcentres at Gateshead and Blaydon both have several free public-access computers that you can use to make your claim. We also have computers for public use at our libraries.

If you have a laptop, tablet or mobile phone and need access to wifi, you can connect for free at

  • Bewicks, Gateshead civic centre, connect to GatesheadPublic
  • Gateshead town centre, connect to GoDigital_Wifi
  • Saltwell Towers cafe, connect to GatesheadPublic
  • all council run libraries

Help to make your claim

If you are unable to make a claim online at all, you can

  • phone the Universal Credit Helpline for help and advice on making a claim. The number is 0800 328 5644, open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. The text phone number is 0800 328 5644
  • use our assisted claim service which is available by appointment only. Please phone 0191 433 4646 to make an appointment

Your work coach can help you to find

  • some basic support with your computing skills
  • help getting online
  • a suitable training course