Universal Credit (UC) will eventually replace Housing Benefit.
Universal Credit was introduced by the Government to simplify the current benefit system, bringing together a range of working age benefits into one single streamlined payment.
UC is currently being rolled out to certain areas across the UK. Depending where you live and what your personal circumstances are, you might be able to claim UC instead of Housing Benefit.
To see if you live in a UC area, follow these steps:
Universal Credit is a new type of benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. It will replace six existing benefits and is currently being rolled out across the UK. The new system is based on a single monthly payment, transferred directly into a bank account.
Single applicants currently claiming JSA will be affected first, followed by those claiming all other benefits affected, including couples and families. Everyone will have moved over to Universal Credit by 2019/2020.
Step 1 - Open a bank account
To receive your Universal Credit payment you will need to have a bank account that can receive automated payments.
Step 2 - Get online
All claims for Universal Credit will need to be made online. You will need to have access to the internet as well as an active email address.
Step 3 - Get budgeting
Universal Credit will be paid monthly so if you are used to managing your money weekly or fortnightly you will have to start managing your money across the whole month. The first payment of Universal Credit will be paid to you in arrears. This means you will have to go a whole month without benefits before you get your first payment. Think about how you are going to manage through this period of time.
Universal Credit will be paid in one single monthly payment in arrears to you, directly into your bank or building society account. You will be responsible for managing this money and paying your bills.
Any help you get with your rent will be included with your Universal Credit payment. It is then your responsibility to pay your rent to us.
You can claim UC by visiting https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit.