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Claiming Universal Credit

The Government expects almost everyone to claim Universal Credit online and to have an online account.

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 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.

Help to claim

Gateshead Citizens Advice provide a service either online through webchat, over the phone or face-to-face to help people to claim. The first stage is an assessment of their individual needs.

They will then provide support to start a claim, including checking whether you should apply for Universal Credit, setting up an e-mail address or Universal Credit account, working through claim to do's, and accessing the Universal Credit phone claim service or the DWP home visit service.

Additional help could include helping verify identity, advice on what additional evidence to provide and how to do this, help prepare you to deal with a monthly payment, help enquire about direct payments to a landlord, or having health or other issues taken into account in your claim, and applying for additional financial support.

Citizens Advice can also signpost or refer to other services where longer term support needs are identified, or if other help is needed.

For more information please visit Citizens Advice Gateshead

Phone support: 0800 144 8 444 (freephone)

If it is not possible to support you through either of the above an appointment will be made for you to attend your local Citizens Advice office.

PCs for public use are available at your local CAB office: Davidson Building, Swan Street, Gateshead NE8 1BG.

Help to get online 

The job centres at Gateshead and Blaydon both have a number of free public access computer's that you can use to make your claim. There are a number of locations across Gateshead that provide computers for you to use -whether that's for benefit claims or any other service/information you need. 

Computers available across Gateshead
LocationDate, times and chargesAdditional information
Gateshead Civic Centre, Regent Street, NE8 1HH (atrium, ground floor)Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm. No charge.Currently closed due to coronavirus
Benefits Online, Civic Centre (ground floor)

Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 4.30pm
Friday 8.45am to 4pm

Currently closed due to coronavirus
Birtley Hub, 16 Harraton Terrace, DH3 2QGMonday-Friday 9.30am-3.30pm, no charge. No need to book.Call 0191 492 0434 for more details.
Chopwell Community Centre, Derwent Street, NE17 7HSFriday 10am to 12noon, no charge.

Call 01207 562 462. Just drop in.

If you need assistance this is only available on Wednesday between 10am and 12noon

Gateshead Citizen's Advice, Davidson Building, Swan Street, NE8 1BGMonday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm. No charge.Appointment only. Call 0344 245 1288

Council-run libraries

(Central, Birtley, Blaydon,Chopwell, Crawcrook, Pelaw, Wrekenton and Leam Lane)

Opening times vary. No charge.

All Gateshead Council libraries are currently closed due to coronavirus

Gateshead volunteer-run libraries

(Dunston, Felling, Low Fell, Ryton, Whickham, Winlaton and Rowlands Gill)

Opening times vary. No charge.

Currently closed due to coronavirus

Springwell Community Centre, Lanchester Avenue, NE9 8ALMonday to Friday 9am to 2pm Currently closed due to coronavirus
Wrekenton Hub, High Street, NE9 7JRMonday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am to 5pm
Wednesday 9am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 4.30pm
Currently closed due to coronavirus
Housing, Civic Centre (second floor)Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday 9am to 4.30pm
Currently closed due to coronavirus
Council housing offices Currently closed due to coronavirus

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 
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