Initial claims

The rules on initial claims for universal credit are set out in the Universal Credit (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.380/2013).

NB: See below for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland.

Making a claim

​Regulation 8 and Schedule 2 to SI.No.380/2013

Regulation 8 sets out the methods by which a claim must be made including that, unless the Secretary of State agrees to accept a telephone claim, the claim must be made through an ‘electronic communication’ in accordance with Schedule 2.

Claims by members of a couple

​Regulation 9 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out the rules governing claims from members of a couple, including where the claimant is a member of a polygamous marriage.

Date of claim

​Regulation 10 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out the rules on the date when a universal credit claim is considered to have been made.

Time within which a claim must be made

​Regulation 26 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out the circumstances in which universal credit can be backdated for up to one month.

Amendment of claim

Regulation 30 of SI.No.380/2013

Allows for a claim to be amended at any time before a determination is made.

Withdrawal of claim

Regulation 31 of SI.No.380/2013

Allows for a claim to be withdrawn at any time before a determination is made.

Advance claims

Regulation 32 of SI.No.380/2013

Allows for an advance claim to be made up to a month before conditions of entitlement are met.

Attendance in person

Regulation 35 of SI.No.380/2013

Provides that a claimant must attend in person to provide evidence and information in connection with a claim.

Duration of awards

Regulation 35 of SI.No.380/2013

Provides that a claim is treated as being made for an indefinite period and that an award is also made for an indefinite period.

Evidence and information

Regulation 37 of SI.No.380/2013

Sets out the rules in relation to the duty on a claimant to provide evidence and information in relation to a claim.

In Northern Ireland, SR.No.220/2016 makes provision in relation to payments that is largely equivalent to that in Great Britain.

Further explanation of the legislation is set out in guidance. Please note, however, guidance is not binding and cannot override the legislation.

Advice for decision making

Chapter A2

Provides guidance to decision makers on claims for universal credit.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

New claims

​Guidance to DWP staff on issues including backdating, advances, advance claims, claims and couples forming / seperating and mixed-age couples.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Backdating

​Guidance to DWP staff on the limited circumstances when a claim can be backdated.

Case law​ provides further interpretation of the legislation and establishes legal precedent.

Upper Tribunal

[2018] UKUT 306 (AAC)

Withdrawal of universal credit claim did not mean that it retrospectively ceased to exist for purposes of ending tax credit award.

Upper Tribunal

[2017] UKUT 131 (AAC)

Poorly drafted ‘gateway’ questions on the universal credit claim form do not amount to the computer system being ‘inoperative’.