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Reapply for Universal Credit

This advice applies to Wales

If you've claimed Universal Credit before, you might not have to go through the full application process again.

How you reapply depends on which type of Universal Credit you got before - live service or full service. If you had an online account you had full service Universal Credit. If you're not sure which kind you got, check any documents you have or call the Universal Credit helpline:

Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Telephone (Welsh language): 0800 012 1888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Calls to these numbers are free. It’s best to call from the phone number you gave the DWP when you set up your Universal Credit account. You'll have a shorter wait and be put through to the same person who handled previous calls you've made.

If you've been told you can't apply for Universal Credit

You can ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to change their decision.

If you were on full service Universal Credit

If it's been more than 6 months since your last Universal Credit payment you'll need to make a new claim.

If it's 6 months or less since your last Universal Credit payment, log in to your Universal Credit account on GOV.UK to make a new claim. This takes less time than your initial Universal Credit application did, and you'll get your payments on the same dates as before.

When you make a new claim, letters, documents and messages will normally be deleted from your Universal Credit online account.

It’s best to keep a record of what’s on the online account before you make a new claim - for example you can:

  • take screenshots
  • download documents
  • copy messages and paste them into a separate document

Restart your claim as soon as you can to make sure you don't miss any payments. Try to restart your claim within 7 days if your job has ended - this will maximise the first payment of your new claim.

If you can't get into your account, or you didn't use an online account, call the helpline to restart your claim.

Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Telephone (Welsh language): 0800 012 1888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Calls to these numbers are free. It’s best to call from the phone number you gave the DWP when you set up your Universal Credit account. You'll have a shorter wait and be put through to the same person who handled previous calls you've made.

If you were getting live service Universal Credit

You'll need to make a new claim for Universal Credit.

Check how a change affects your Universal Credit if you're reapplying because you were making a joint claim but have now split up with your partner.

If you had a sanction when your claim ended

The sanction won't affect your payments if it ended while you weren't claiming Universal Credit.

Your payments will be reduced if you start getting Universal Credit again before the date your sanction was due to end. The sanction will finish on the same date it was originally due to end, and it will cut your payments by the same amount.

The DWP should have told you when your sanction would end - check you've been given the right sanction if you're not sure how long it should be.

Example

The DWP give you a 91-day sanction on 1 March. It’s due to finish on 31 May.

You stop claiming Universal Credit on 21 March because you get a job. The job only lasts 2 months, and finishes on 20 May. On 21 May you start claiming Universal Credit again.

Your previous sanction is still going, and will still finish on 31 May. This means the sanction reduces your May Universal Credit payment.

If you get a sanction after you stop claiming

Sometimes you might do something to get a sanction, but stop claiming Universal Credit before it affects you.

When you make a new claim, the DWP will work out how long that sanction would have lasted. It will run from the day before your previous claim ended. Your Universal Credit will be reduced if your new claim starts before the sanction finishes.

If you’re not sure if you’ll be affected, check what you can be sanctioned for.

It’s still worth restarting your Universal Credit claim even if you’re worried you might get a sanction. Your payments might be reduced, but you could still get something, depending on your income. You might also be able to challenge the sanction decision.

Example

You don’t apply for a job your work coach has asked you to apply for. This could get you a sanction. You end your Universal Claim on 9 April, before the DWP decide to sanction you.

On 20 July you claim Universal Credit again. The DWP look at your previous claim and decide the sanction would have lasted 91 days. The sanction will start on 8 April, the date you ended your previous claim. This means it finishes on 8 July.

Because you start your new claim on 20 July the sanction doesn’t affect you.

If you’d started your new claim on 1 July the sanction would have reduced your payment from 1 July to 8 July.

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