With the recent digital system for uploading documents, Universal Credit claimants have found a convenient means of providing supportive evidence for their claims. Through this blog post, we aim to discuss how UC claimants can upload required documents on the portal. We will also explain the application and registration process for Universal Credit as well as list down the conditions that make an individual eligible for Universal Credit payments.  

How Do I Upload Documents On Universal Credit?

To upload documents to your Universal Credit account, claimants will need to use their UC user ID and password to login into their account. There, they will find a “to-do list” that indicates the names/titles of documents that are required to be uploaded along with a due date for task completion.

Here, you will find the option to click on a tab and upload a file. You can upload five files to the portal at the same time. If you need to change the document that has been uploaded, you can also delete it and upload another document. Once you are sure that you have uploaded all the necessary documents, you can click on “Done” and your documents will be submitted to your work coach.

Universal Credit is a state benefit for UK citizens above the age of 18 and below the state pension age. It aims to provide financial assistance to individuals who are either out of work or on a low income. It is a monthly payment that claimants receive to help them to cover living costs.

Universal Credit has replaced six benefits, referred to as the “legacy benefits” by serving a single payment for households and helping them meet housing and childcare costs. These include the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Additionally, it provides support for health conditions, disabilities or the role of a carer that prevents claimants from working full time or working at all.

What Is A PSN Number For Universal Credit?

A PSN number or a Personal Security Number is a 16 digit individual and confidential number assigned to claimants of Universal Credit after their first interview with their work coach. This is part of the Universal Credit claims process.

If you are about to make a claim for Universal Credit; either due to recent eligibility for the state benefit or if you are transferring from other benefits to Universal Credit, you will be required to apply online through the GOV.UK web portal. You will have to create an online account using a unique user identification and password. For this, you will need a phone number and an email address. If you are making a joint claim with a partner, you should keep UC account information to yourself. 

If your relationship status falls under any of the following categories, you will be required to make a joint claim with your partner:

  • married
  • civil partnership
  • living together as a couple

Once your online account is created, you must keep these details safe as you will need them to receive and send updates regarding your Universal Credit claim. The DWP will ask you at this time whether you prefer to receive updates via text message, email or phone call.

You will still need a PSN number if you are unable to access the internet to create your Universal Credit account. In such cases, you may seek the help of a family member or inform the DWP of your situation. Reasons for lack of access to the internet can be anything from not being confident of using a smartphone to weak sight, a disability or that someone is unable to read or write.

Why Am I Having Problems With Universal Credit Identity Verification?

Sometimes new customers have problems with identity verification with Universal Credit due to one (or more) of the following reasons:

  • they don’t know how to use a computer
  • they don’t have access to a computer and/or free internet
  • they don’t have an email address
  • they don’t have a bank account
  • they don’t have a mobile number
  • they need support in completing their UC application

If you use Government Gateway, you will be able to secure your identity by creating a specific user id and password by providing documented information about yourself.

Yet, there may be times when there is no specific reason why you are having problems with your identity verification; however, chances are that you are a new customer and the process is taking time due to the system being shifted online in post-pandemic (covid-19) times.

When you apply for Universal Credit through their online portal your job centre is automatically notified of your online application. This means that even if you don’t receive an identity verification, you can expect to receive a call from the jobcentre to confirm your details. However, if you think that a reasonable time has passed between your application and the response time from your job centre, you can call on their toll-free number or email them to seek feedback. 

What Do They Ask You In A Universal Credit Phone Appointment?

In addition to your personal identification details, you can be asked about any of the following areas of your life during a phone appointment with regards to the Universal Credit claim:

  • your identification details from your passport or driving license
  • your postcode
  • your NI number
  • your bank account, building society or credit union account number 
  • your monthly rental payments
  • your landlord’s address 
  • details of your savings and capital investments
  • details of your income and benefits
  • details of any child care payments made by you
  • child benefit reference numbers (if any)

Who Is Eligible For Universal Credit?

To qualify for Universal Credit, claimants must be able to fulfil the below eligibility criteria:

  • aged between 18 (in some cases it may be 16 or 17) and state pension age
  • unemployed or on low income
  • between the claimant and their partner, total savings are less than £6,000
  • experiencing high costs for childcare
  • suffering from a disability or health condition
  • caring for someone else

The amount of Universal Credit that an individual receives depends on their personal circumstances and income (if any). For instance, someone who is single and younger than 25 years of age will be eligible for Universal Credit amounting to around £257 per month. Meanwhile, this amount will rise to around £509 for someone who is living with a partner and either one of them or both of them are above the age of 25.

Can I Get Advance Payment For Universal Credit?

Yes, you can get advance payment for Universal Credit if:

  • you have been given confirmation of your eligibility for Universal Credit and this will be your first payment; or
  • you have recently experienced a change in circumstances due to which you are expecting an increase in your Universal Credit payments

This usually happens when claimants are unable to afford their living expenses during the 5 week period that it takes for the first Universal Credit payment to be received by them.

You can apply for an advance on your UC payments by speaking to your Jobcentre Plus work coach, applying through your online UC account or calling the Universal Credit helpline.

When you place your request to the DWP, they will ask you for your identification details, the reasons for requesting an advance payment and your bank account details for the payment to be transferred.

You will be told the same day by the DWP whether or not your request for advance payment has been accepted.

Claimants must remember that the advance payment that they receive for Universal Credit is an interest-free loan. They will be required to pay it back within 24 months of receiving the payment through monthly deductions from their UC claim. This payback period will be shortened to 6 months if the advance payment is due to an increase in your previous UC claim as a result of a change in your circumstances.

However, if claimants believe that they will not be able to adhere to the repayment schedule, they must inform the DWP and request for smaller instalments spread over a wider span of schedule.

Conclusion:

This blog post has explained in detail, the steps needed to upload documents for Universal Credit. However, if a claimant is not comfortable with using a computer system or does not have regular access to the internet, they can request support from the DWP. 

FAQs: How Do I Upload Documents On Universal Credit?

How do I upload documents to the gov. uk website?

To upload documents to the gov. uk website, claimants can simply click on upload, select the required files and click on submit. Sometimes, they will also need to provide their New Adviser Competence Statement if appropriate and also provide their first name, surname and email address.

Can you upload documents to HMRC?

Yes, if you have been asked to do so, you can upload documents to HMRC. It is mostly in the case of documents like licences or certificates of origin that your will need to do so.

What questions does Universal Credit ask?

Usually, a DWP adviser called a Work Coach will be the one asking the questions during a phone appointment for Universal Credit. The purpose of the interview is to confirm the information provided in your claim, assess your income and expense details, and discuss the work-related options available for you so that a Claimant Commitment may be drawn up. Questions can be related to your identification details to your qualification and work experiences, your health condition and some personal details including your family life.

How long does a Universal Credit phone interview take?

While interviews were mostly held as a 50-minute in-person session in the past, it is now more common for work coaches to make a 30-minute phone call with claimants as they confirm details regarding their personal circumstances as well as working conditions. The purpose of these interviews is for the Work Coach to confirm the personal, health, income and expense related information shared by claimants in their application form.

What evidence is needed for Universal Credit?

You will need evidence of your income, savings, health conditions, expenses and mentionable living conditions on the basis of which you have applied for a Universal Credit claim. It is best to keep copies of the required documents during your interview.

References:

Universal Credit Guide 2 – How to upload documents to your account

Understanding Universal Credit – How to claim

Help_with_benefits_and_money/1120/universal_credit/2

Confirm Your Identity: a new way to verify online – DWP Digital

Universal Credit claimants to verify identity through Government Gateway – GOV.UK

Universal Credit and you

Universal credit interviews

How do I claim a Universal Credit Advance? – Turn2us

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.