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Preparing to claim Universal Credit

Are you ready to claim Universal Credit?

If you would like to check if you are ready to claim Universal Credit, below is a link to a DWP survey which is a very quick way to establish if you are ready to make a claim and can advise you of what you need to put in place before making your claim.

To check whether you are ready to make a claim for Universal Credit, click here.

If you think you are going to struggle with making a claim, this may lead to you falling into arrears with your rent, putting your home at risk. At St Leger Homes, we have dedicated staff to support you with this and help you with your claim. We have an in house Tenancy Support Team, with dedicated experts, who can assist you! You can self refer by contacting 01302 862050.    

Universal Credit is paid every month in arrears and includes housing costs (money for your rent). Find out more about claiming Universal Credit

You will be responsible for paying rent directly to St Leger Homes so it is vital to prepare in the following ways:


Get online

Most people will have to claim Universal Credit and keep it up to date online. You will need to regular access to the internet and you must have an email address. If you don't have the internet at home, you can get access for free at one of Doncaster's digital venues

If you're worried about not having the IT skills required, St Leger Homes and all Doncaster libraries have digital hubs with staff will be able to assist you.

Pay your rent by Direct Debit

This is the easiest way to pay because your bank or building society makes the payment for you. You won't have to queue to pay in the post office or local store. Find out more about Direct Debit here.  

Have the right bank, building society or Credit Union account 

This is essential to be able to receive monthly Universal Credit payments and set up Direct Debits to pay your bills. The Post Office Card Account is not ideal for receiving Universal Credit because it doesn't offer services like Direct Debit and Standing Order and you can't have wages paid in.

Community First Credit Union offer a budget account to receive Universal Credit and pay essential bills. Find out more about the budget account.

Most high street banks offer basic bank accounts which do offer these services along with online banking which makes it even easier to manage your money. 

If you claim Universal Credit with your partner, you will receive a single monthly payment for both of you. Therefore you may wish to have it paid into a joint account to allow both of you to access your money.

Manage your money

Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears and you will have to wait around 6 weeks for your first payment. It is vital to start saving money now to see you through this period.

After the initial 6 weeks you will need to budget on a monthly basis to pay for the essentials like food and toiletries but also pay your bills like your rent, Council Tax and utilities. 

Opening a budget account with South Yorkshire Credit Union will help you achieve this and stop you falling into arrears. Find out more about the budget account.


If you think you may struggle, the Money Manager for Universal Credit claimants from MoneyHelper offers practical support and advice for those claiming Universal Credit. 

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