If you think a DWP decision is incorrect

The first place you should contact is the DWP Universal Credit Helpline 0800 328 5644 or your own work coach using your on line account.

Your housing provider or other organisations may be able to help you.  There are also a number of independent advice providers in the city who can provide help and support if you are still unhappy or unsure about the DWPs response.  This may include explaining decisions and options and helping you to formally challenge the DWP decisions.  You will need to provide the organisations with information about your case and the issues.  You  can ask another person or organisation to deal with their claim if you feel unable to:

  • find the information you need
  • understand things about your claim

This can be done at any point during a claim.   You must give permission to allow another person or organisation to:

  • act for you
  • have access to relevant information about you

This permission is called explicit consent.  Your representative can be any named person in the organisation acting on your behalf or making enquiries.  Explicit consent can be provided in writing (including updating your on line UC account), on the telephone or face to face, and this can happen at any time during your Universal Credit claim.

If you have no money whilst waiting for your first payment, apply for an advance payment

Your work coach will be able to explain and help you claim an advance payment.  This will help you manage while you wait and should be for up to the same amount as you would get in UC.  You will need to pay the Advance Payment back over 12 months so only borrow what you think you will need.

If you have no money:

If you are struggling to manage your budget

  • Ask your Job Coach about Personal Budgeting Support (PBS) at any time -PBS is important because UC is paid monthly and you will need to make your money last until your next payment
  • See a local advice provider.  They can help you look at any debts that you may have and help you negotiate with your creditors
  • Don't use high cost lenders or loan sharks.  Ask the DWP for what help and payments they can provide .Consider joining a Credit Union

Seek help if you are feeling anxious or depressed about your situation.

Find local service for your area:

Other information on local services can be found through Sunderland Information Point.

Further useful information can be found within our desk aid (pdf) and key messages (pdf) documents.