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Talk about Universal Credit

If you have problems with your Universal Credit (UC) claim or payment first contact the DWP - they can sort many issues out.

If the DWP cannot help speak to your housing provider.  For Gentoo tenants the Money Matters Team can support you.  Other organisations may also be able to help you.

Problems with your claim?

For help and advice contact DWP's UC Free helpline on 0800 328 5644 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm)

Trouble managing your housing payments?

  • Ask your work coach about alternative payment arrangements
  • Talk to your housing provider/landlord


  • You may be able to give the DWP details to prevent you being sanctioned in the first place - you should reply to their requests for information
  • If you are sanctioned and you think it is unfair challenge it (and get help if needed)
  • If you have no money because you have been sanctioned (UC payment reduced / suspended) you may be able to get a DWP Hardship Payment

Struggling to budget

If you have trouble managing monthly UC payments ask your work coach to consider an Alternative Payment Arrangement. These can cover:

  • Housing costs paid direct to your landlord  ( your landlord can also request these )
  • Split payments between you and your partner.
  • More frequent payments

Help to Save

Help to Save is a type of savings account. It allows certain people entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over 4 years.

You get bonuses at the end of the second and fourth years. They're based on how much you've saved. You can save up to £50 each calendar month.

Help to Save is backed by the government so all savings in the scheme are secure.

You can pay money into your Help to Save account by debit card, standing order or bank transfer. You do not have to pay money in every calendar month. You can pay in as many times as you like, but the most you can pay in each calendar month is £50.

You can only withdraw money from your Help to Save account to your bank account.

After 4 years your Help to Save account will be closed. You will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account. You'll be able to keep the money from your account.

You can close your account at any time. If you close your account early you'll miss your next bonus and you will not be able to open another one.

Get some help with digital skills to manage UC on line requirements

Ask your Work Coach to refer you for additional help or check the Community Hub for details of courses / places you can go for help

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

If you would like further information you might find the links below useful:

Sunderland Information Point

Digital help

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

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