Once you have submitted your Universal Credit claim, you will need to verify your identity, this helps to link the right person to the right claim as well as reduces the chance of benefit fraud
To receive your first Universal Credit payment you will need to verify your identity – but how do you do that?
Universal Credit is a benefit paid by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to people who are on a low income or out of work. The benefit also has extra elements which support those with disabilities, carers, and those who are too unwell to work, as well as housing and childcare costs.
You can apply for Universal Credit online through Gov.uk and you will need to provide information and evidence on your personal situation such as your income and savings, whether you have any children, or if you own or rent your home. Once you have submitted your claim, according to the benefits charity Turn2US, you will be asked in your “To-do” list to verify your identity.
This helps to link the right person to the right claim as well as reduces the chance of benefit fraud. There are several ways you can verify your identity for Universal Credit. According to the benefits guidance page, You can verify your identity by one or more of the following:
- Online identity verification
- Face-to-face appointments
- Documentary evidence
- Biographical interviews
- Online identity verification
For online verification, you will need to provide the DWP with some information that only you would know. This can be things like information about your passport or payslips – and you need to choose two of the following to verify yourself:
- Payslips dated within the last 3 months
- Most recent P60
- Valid UK passport
- Recent self assessment tax returns
- Tax credits (including Voice ID)
- Credit references or records – such as information about credit cards or phone contracts
The official guidance notes that you are no longer able to use your Government Gateway account or GOV.uk login for online verification – this change was introduced on January 29, 2024.
If you do not want to verify online there are other ways to do so. You can verify your identity through a face to face appointment at your local JobCentre and you can book this through your online Universal Credit account – you can find out how to do this on your “To do” list. This appointment will need you to answer several questions that will be randomly generated. Again these will be on things you should already know.
The DWP can also call you which is called a “Phone biographical interview” – this may sound concerning however it will simply consist of a phone call and will be very similar to what you will experience in a face to face interview. You may also need to provide the DWP with “identity evidence” which consists of things like:
- Photo identity documents like passport or driving licence
- Tenancy or rental agreements
- Bank details
The DWP guidance notes that its examples are not a “complete list” of all the ways you can verify your identity. Depending on your circumstances, details of the evidence you need to provide will be discussed with you when you apply for Universal Credit. After you have completed this, further JobCentre meetings may need to be sorted to go over things such as your claimant commitment – but once this is done you will be told whether your claim for Universal Credit has been successful. You will then need to wait around five weeks before your first payment arrives.
For more information about applying for Universal Credit, visit the GOV.UK website here.