Universal credit: Who is currently eligible to make a claim for Universal Credit?
Universal Credit has a number of conditions that must be met in order to establish entitlement. We explain these in our entitlement to UC section.
However, before even considering the entitlement conditions of the benefit, it must be determined whether the person is eligible to make a claim. Even if a person is eligible to submit a claim, it does not mean they will be entitled to UC.
The first step in establishing eligibility to claim is to find out the claimant’s postcode.
Postcodes accepting UC claims
Once you have established the claimant’s postcode, you will need to find out which of the following categories it falls into:
- Not yet open for UC claims – claimants must continue claiming legacy benefits (this will apply to claimants living in Northern Ireland)
- Digital service area – Open for UC claims from anyone living in that postcode (with a few exceptions)
- Live service area – Open for UC claims for claimants who meet the relevant gateway conditions otherwise claimants will need to make a claim for the relevant legacy benefit. New claims will no longer be possible in the live service from 1 January 2018.
To help you do this we have created a postcode checker: universalcreditinfo.net
Enter a postcode and the checker will tell you the status of UC in that postcode area and the current situation for tax credits and other legacy benefits.
DWP have a general power to stop accepting UC claims in specific areas at any time under Regulation 4 Transitional Provision Regulations 2014. Please check our blog for the latest information.
Last reviewed/updated 15 December 2017