Rent & Money

Universal credit

Universal Credit will replace many existing benefits and provide both in and out of work support for people of working-age who make a claim.

The following benefits are being replaced by Universal Credit:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

Universal Credit is now live across all areas where we have homes.

What happens to my rent under Universal Credit?

The main difference for tenants moving to Universal Credit is the way their rent is paid. In the past, Housing Benefit was paid direct to us. The new system changes things. Under this system, one benefit – Universal Credit – is paid to the tenant who is then responsible for paying their rent to us from this money, including any service charges.

If you expect to receive Universal Credit, it is essential for you to make arrangements to pay your rent, so that you do not fall into arrears. The easiest way to do this is by setting up a direct debit. You can contact us and arrange to do this over the telephone.

As Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears, some people might find it difficult to budget. The Money Advice Service gives useful guidance on budgeting.

As there could be a delay in payments reaching you during the switch between benefits, we suggest you start paying an extra amount per week to put your rent account into credit. This will help make sure you do not get into arrears.

How do I apply for Universal Credit?

All Universal Credit applications will be done online. You will need the following in place before you start any claim:

  • Set up a bank account. All high street banks offer a basic bank account
  • Set up an email account you can use many email providers like gmail, outlook, yahoo, icloud
  • A mobile phone – you will receive reminders via text message

As part of the application process you will need to verify your identity. This can be done by using a Passport or Driving Licence. If you do not have these documents you can verify your identity by visiting www.gov.uk/verify for further details.

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More information about Universal Credit and how to claim can be found here or by watching this short video.