2. Common problems and how to resolve them
I need computer support
Our lifelong learning centres and libraries offer free online courses. Call 0161 770 8000, Learn My Way offer online support:
I don’t have access to a computer
Did you know you can claim Universal Credit online using your mobile phone or tablet?
I don’t have an email address
Under Universal Credit, you must have an email account. This is used instead of traditional post to communicate with you. However, some claimants do not have an email address. Setting up an account is quick and relatively easy, even if you don’t have great digital skills. The consumer body, Which? provide some helpful advice on setting up email addresses
I don’t have a mobile number
If you do not have a mobile phone, you will need to enter 00000000000 (ie 11 zeros) instead so that you can proceed with your application. You must then select email as your preferred method of contact to ensure you get all the information you need to manage your claim online.
I am unable to verify my identity online
If you are unable to complete the online GOV.UK verify process, just complete your Universal Credit online claim and take proof of your identity with you when you attend your first interview at the Jobcentre.
I do not have a bank account
Under Universal Credit, payments must be made into the claimant’s bank, building society, credit union or Post Office account – they cannot be issued by cheque or other means. They also cannot be issued to relatives’ bank accounts – you have to have your own. If you’re in debt or have CCJs, don’t worry. You’ll still be able to get an account.
You can also contact the Credit Union on 0161 678 7245.
I need help and support with completing my application
Financial difficulty after making a claim
How do I apply for an advance payment or financial support while my UC claim is pending?
An advance payment of UC is a short term advance payment to help you financially from the date you claimed UC to the date of your first payment (this can be six weeks or more).
Apply for an advance payment as soon as possible after you claim UC. Your regular UC payments will be reduced until the advance payment has been fully paid off – usually within six months.
You can claim an advance payment up to three days prior to your first UC payment being made.
You can ask for an advance payment at your Universal Credit interview, which you’ll be booked in for after you have completed your online application. The interview will take place at Jobcentre Plus.
Ring the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) helpline 0345 600 4272 if you want to claim an advance payment after your Jobcentre Plus interview.
For emergency help, contact the Local Welfare Provision (LWP) team. LWP can provide emergency help with essential furniture and white goods, food and utility bills. Contact the team on 0161 770 5468 (9am - 5pm Monday to Friday).
For advice on energy efficiency and keeping fuel costs down
Ensure you have claimed free school meals and council tax reduction.
I am struggling to adjust to being paid monthly in arrears
Tell Jobcentre staff at your initial UC interview so that a referral can be made for help with Personal Budgeting support. Tell the Access Oldham team who will arrange for help with Personal Budgeting support.
My UC claim is in payment and I am struggling to pay my rent?
Apply to the council for a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with your housing costs.
I disagree with the decision the DWP has made about my UC award?
You can ask the DWP to rethink their decision. Contact the Welfare Rights Team on 0161 770 6655 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).
For more information about the process.