Universal Credit free resources

Collected on this sub- page are some of the free Big Book resources on Universal Credit, that you may find helpful.

They also appear on our general Downloads page along alongside resources around other benefits , Big Books and training courses we offer.

Please feel free to download , print, use or make into paper aeroplanes on a wet afternoon

Do I need to switch to UC?

There is a myth doing the rounds in the DWP that “any change of circumstances will lead to a need to switch from legacy benefits to UC. This is wrong.

The golden rules are:

“Is it a change of circumstances that would require a new claim under the legacy benefits system?”

If so, you cannot usually do that, so you would need to claim legacy benefits instead. However, since 16th January 2019, after a Court ruling against unlawful discrimination by the DWP, a new SDP Gateway, means that:

  • You cannot claim UC if you are receiving a “severe disability premium” (SDP) within any of your legacy benefits.

If in doubt check your last notification of how your current benefit is worked out or get advice. Also, there may be some people may be entitled to an SDP but have not been getting one.

In that case, you can make new claims for legacy benefits rather than have to lose out in an unprotected natural migration to UC. Those who have lost out before this date will get compensation, but the draft amounts suggested by the DWP fell significantly short.

Some further resources around switching over to UC include:

  • A general single-sided flowchart of when a change in circumstances might mean you have to switch from “legacy benefits” to UC leads to a switch to UC  here
  • A more detailed table of examples of changes of circumstances that may lead to a need to switch to UC, in collaboration with Newcastle Welfare Rights.- available here

There have been instances of DWP and other benefit officers mistakenly advising people they need to switch because of a change of circumstances or just encouraging such a change. In answer to questions from the Work and Pensions Select committee, DWP have stated that is not their policy intention and people will be compensated:

  • See the news post – and video and other links – from the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA) – available here


Tips when making a UC claim:

  • Surviving a claim for UC : Top Tips – a run through of potential pitfalls and suggestions when you make a claim for UC – available  here 
  • A DWP video following a trouble free claim offers useful screenshots of the claim pages and process as it should happen and the online journal and other resources to check your claim and keep it going. It is available here.
  • Trying a practice claim – if you want to have a run through the form, without actually making a claim, follow the link here


How much UC can I get?

  • JUST UPDATED 🙂 – UC Calculation Sheet – April 2019-20 – all the figures and a template for doing the sum  – on a single page – available here