Get help with Universal Credit
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:
- You can ask the DWP for a Budgeting Advance (loan) if you need one - after you have been on UC for 6 months
- Apply for Crisis Support for help with food and fuel
- If your UC housing costs do not cover what you pay in rent - you may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment from the council - this is a short-term solution only
- If you have been sanctioned you can request a DWP Hardship Payment
If you are struggling to manage your budget
- 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 via the links below:
Other information on local services can be found through Sunderland Information Point.