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Universal Credit

Full Service Universal Credit was introduced to Fife on 6 December 2017.

This large-scale change to the welfare system aims to make claims simpler and encourage more people into work, by replacing some benefits with a single monthly payment.

Many people will remain on their existing benefits unless their circumstances change. Job Centre Work Coaches will contact people in advance of the changeover to UC.

'Your Guide to Universal Credit' has been produced for Fife which explains Universal Credit, how to apply, waiting on the first claim, and the support available particularly if you are in financial difficulty. You may also want to read the Universal Credit Checker, for advice.

The process for making a new Universal Credit claim is explained in our guides 'Keeping your Full Benefit Payment' and 'Changes to Benefit Caps'.

To get online, Fife's Digital Directory details where free internet access is available. Work coaches in job centres will assist with your claim or you can call 0800 328 5644, plus you can drop into any of Fife's Community Job Clubs.

We understand that there may be difficulties as you wait for your first payment. Support is available - for advice on managing money, looking for work and accessing help see the Benefits & Money Advice page.

Advance payments from DWP are available for up to 100% of your claim amount. Your Work Coach will be able to discuss this with you. More details are available at Once you claim Universal Credit, you can choose to:

  • be paid either monthly or twice monthly; and
  • have the housing costs in their award of Universal Credit paid directly to their landlord.

These choices are available through your Universal Credit online account, and you will be offered them following the first payment, along with further information. The direct payment of housing costs to the landlord will not cover people who have Alternative Payment Arrangements in place (where housing costs are paid directly to the landlord) although this can be put into place with agreement from DWP.

Contacting the DWP

Service LineFreephone number
UC Live Service 0800 328 9344
UC Full Service 0800 328 5644
UC Sanctions Line 0800 328 9744
UC Live to Full Service Transfers 0800 328 7844
UC/WA Welsh Line 0800 328 1744
UC Text phone 0800 328 1344
Performance Measurement 0800 328 2144
Payment Services - Creditors/landlords 0800 328 0128
Payment Services - Customer contact 0800 328 0172

Fife Council tenants who need advice about a new or existing Universal Credit claim can use the Universal Credit - Enquiry Form.

Universal Credit - Enquiry Form