What is Universal Credit?
There are a small number of people who will not have their housing costs paid as part of their Universal Credit and will continue to receive help towards their rent from the local authority, for example:
- If you have been placed into temporary accommodation by our housing team under housing homeless or homeless prevention legislation
- If you are living in supported accommodation and receive care support or supervision from your landlord or by an organisation on your landlords’ behalf.
- You are a single person who has reached the qualifying age for pension credit, or are you a couple both of whom have reached the qualifying age for pension credit? (From 15 May 2019, both members of a couple need to have reached the qualifying age for pension credit in order to be able to claim housing benefit. Couples where the youngest partner is of working age will need to claim Universal Credit for help with their housing costs.)
On this page
What is different about Universal Credit?
The Government's aim is that by 2022, housing benefit for private and social tenants will no longer be dealt with by councils but will be part of Universal Credit (UC) that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be dealing with.
Payments will be made direct to the claimant in a single monthly payment. The aim is to incentivise work and ensure claimants are always better off in work. If you get housing benefit now and this is paid direct to your landlord, this will be included in your UC payment so you will have to take responsibility and ensure you pay your rent in full and on time.
You will need to have a bank account for your Universal Credit payment to be made. Guidance on basic bank accounts can be found below:
A guide to basic bank accounts leaflet(PDF) [91 kb]
How to claim
You will be expected to make your Universal Credit (UC) claim online by visiting the GOV UK website.
Anyone claiming UC will have to sign a claimant commitment. This will ensure claimants look for at least 35 hours of work a week, depending on their circumstances.
If you need help or support claiming online there are places in the community you can go to access the internet for free and get support. View our 'How to get online' leaflet (PDF)[390kb] to find out what's on offer.
Help to claim
From 1 April 2019, Citizens Advice will be providing high quality, independent advice for Universal Credit through a Help to claim scheme.
If you have an enquiry about benefits, send a message to the Benefits Team
If you wish to make a claim for housing benefit/council tax support but you are unable to claim using the online application, please contact us on the telephone number below.