Universal Credit is being introduced across the United Kingdom in stages. Some areas will be slower to switch over to the new system and will stick with the old benefits for now.

If you live in a ‘full service’ area and start a new benefits claim, you will claim Universal Credit. If you already claim benefits you will move to Universal Credit soon. You don’t have to do anything until the Department for Work and Pensions get in touch.

Because your area is now using the new system, you will be able to make a claim online using your account. Once you start getting Universal Credit, you will have manage it completely online. You will not be able to make any changes or manage your payments through the helpline.

Live Universal Credit Service Areas

If you live in a ‘live service’ area, things are very different. You will not be able to use the online service and will have to do everything through the helpline or jobcentre. Live service areas are places where Universal Credit hasn’t been fully rolled out.

If you already claim older benefits, nothing will change. You don’t have to do anything until the Department for Work and Pensions gets in touch to switch over. You are not be able to apply for Universal Credit for the first time if you live in a ‘live service’ area.

Only one exception applies to this rule in ‘live service’ areas. You are eligible to apply if you have claimed Universal Credit before in the past 6 months. This means you are not making a new claim but you are restarting an old claim.

If you fit this exception and claim Universal Credit while in a ‘live service’ area, you can only use the helpline. You won’t be able to do anything for your claim using the online account. This is an option only available to people in ‘full service’ areas.