Sector Challenge 9: Claiming Universal Credit remotely



Why the work is being done

The COVID-19 crisis has magnified many financial wellbeing challenges, particularly amongst low paid workers, women and ethnic minorities. Young people are 2.5 times more likely than people in older age groups to work in a sector hit by COVID-19, and job losses among young people are accelerating. Women are about a third more likely than men to work in a sector that has been affected by lockdown. Read more here.

The job losses associated with Covid-19 have led to an upsurge in new claims for Universal Credit. DWP reported in their Universal Credit Full Service Survey that only 54% of Universal Credit claimants can make a claim independently. This means 46% cannot make a claim without some sort of support. 25% fail to register their claim entirely. Reasons for this include a lack of digital skills, language skills or mental health issues.

Problem to solve

How might we identify a way to provide seamless remote support for online Universal Credit claims, so the 25% of people currently failing to register can make a timely and successful claim.

This work should rapidly generate, prototype and test ways of providing remote support for making online Universal Credit claims. The outputs should enable organisations who provide benefits advice to best support those who struggle or fail to claim Universal Credit online.

Who are the users and what do they need to do

The target users are people needing to make an online claim for Universal Credit but are currently failing to do so without remote support that considers a lack of digital skills, language skills or mental health issues.
They need remote support to successfully register a Universal Credit claim online.


Demonstrate that we can improve the ability to make successful online Universal Credit claims for eligible applicants who may be struggling with barriers such as digital skills, language, or mental health.

Key project resources

Project blog
Medium publication with blog posts about the proejct.
Wrap up - handover assets
(includes 10% extension assets)