Universal Credit is a monthly benefit for people of working age who need help with living and housing costs. It replaces the following benefits:
- Housing benefit
- Jobseekers allowance (income-based)
- Employment and support allowance (income-related)
- Income support
- Child and working tax credits.
Under Universal Credit, your housing costs (for example; your rent) will be paid once a month, directly into your bank account.
Paying rent with Universal Credit benefit
You can pay your rent in a variety of ways, but you will also need to budget and plan for paying your rent on time. Paying your rent should be a priority. To claim Universal Credit you must:
- have a bank account - make sure you have a bank or building society account in your name. If you live with your partner, consider setting up a joint bank account (as joint claims will be paid into one bank account).
- decide how to pay your rent - once you start receiving Universal Credit, you will be responsible for paying your rent to us. Paying by direct debit or standing order, a standing order can be setup to be pay your rent on the same day your Universal Credit is received. Consider making small extra payments to your rent account now, to avoid getting into arrears when you switch over to Universal Credit. Speak to your Housing Officer for more information.
- get online - free internet access and support with making your claim is available at the Council Offices (at Priory Road, Spalding). Libraries also have computers available to use.
- produce a monthly budget - as Universal Credit is paid monthly, you may need to make changes to how you budget. The Money Advice Service website has advice about budgeting. Speak to your Housing Officer if you would like a personalised budgeting appointment with Citizens Advice.
- contact us - you can speak to the Duty Housing Officer about your rent account by calling 01775 761161 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claiming Universal Credit
Please speak to Universal Credit directly if you want to start a claim for Universal Credit. If you are already claiming Universal Credit, please contact your housing officer on 01775 761161 to discuss the following:
- your monthly payment date from Universal Credit
- the amount of housing costs you have been awarded
- how you plan to pay your rent
- if applicable how you intend to pay your rent arrears.