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The Universal Credit claims process

It could be six to eight weeks before you receive your first payment.

When you have made your online claim, you will need to make an appointment to attend an interview at the Jobcentre. This is to confirm the details in your claim and agree any work-related activity.

The date that you claim online is the start of your assessment period. This period lasts for one month. During this month your circumstances are taken into account. At the end of that month, a decision is made about your entitlement to Universal Credit.

You will be told the amount you will receive for that period. In most cases there is a period of seven days after your claim is made where no payment will be made. These are called "waiting days". This means it could be up to six weeks before you receive a payment.

Most payments of Universal Credit, including any help towards housing costs, will be paid directly to you and will be paid monthly in arrears (at the end of the payment period).

Managing your claim online

You will need to manage your Universal Credit claim online (opens new window) with This includes:

  • going online to notify Jobcentre Plus of any changes in your circumstances
  • responding to any messages that Jobcentre Plus sends you through your online account

If you do not you may lose money.