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The Government has introduced Universal Credit as part of the welfare reforms.

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment that will replace 6 existing benefits for working age people.

It will eventually replace:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions and not local councils.

Those customers claiming Universal Credit (UC) will have their housing costs paid as part of their UC and will no longer be entitled to claim Housing Benefit.

Working age customers who would have made a new claim for Housing Benefit will claim Universal Credit instead.

All Pensions age claimants are excluded from the Universal Credit scheme and will still claim Housing Benefit.

Customers living in Supported Accommodation will continue to claim Housing Benefit. This is accommodation where you receive such support as care, supervision or counselling and advice. Some examples of supported accommodation are hostels, refuges and supported living complexes.

Customers with three or more children making a new claim after 6th April 2017 should still claim the relevant Benefits listed above instead of Universal Credit.

For further information go to GOV UK, and to apply for Universal Credit, go to Apply for Universal Credit.

Council Tax Reduction
Council Tax Reduction IS NOT included in Universal Credit and you will need to make a claim to us as normal. It is important that any claim for Council Tax Reduction is made as early as possible as help entitlement will not usually be backdated. To claim go to Apply for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction online.

Change in Circumstances
If you currently get Housing Benefit and have a change in your circumstances it may mean you have to move on to Universal Credit. If this is the case you will need to make an online claim for Universal Credit. You should tell us about the change as normal and we will tell you if this means a new claim for Universal Credit has to be made. To report any changes in circumstances go to Report Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction Change of Circumstances online.

Already receiving Universal Credit
If you are already receiving Universal Credit you will need to contact Universal Credit to report the change in your circumstances. Council Tax Reduction will remain with the Council as per the advice above.

Universal Credit and Landlords
The way you will receive payments for your rent may change with Universal Credit.

Please see the following documents for information.