Universal Credit

Due to begin in October 2013, Universal Credit:

From October 2013 there will be a new way for people of working age to receive particular benefits. For couples where one person is of pension age and the other of working age, you will be paid any benefit entitlement under Universal Credit.

This will begin for any new claims and change of circumstances from October 2013 and remaining claims will be phased into Universal Credit until 2017.

Once someone is receiving Universal Credit, they will be paid monthly, in arrears, into their own bank account. The claimant will be expected to pay their Rent directly to the landlord; Hounslow Homes will no longer be paid a tenant’s housing benefit directly.

The lists of benefits that Universal Credit will replace are listed below:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Social Funds such as, Crisis Loans, budgeting loans, these will be replaced by allowing claimants to have an advance on their Universal Credit payments and new local assistance schemes will be set up.

The DWP have provided detailed information regarding Universal Credit on their website or download a copy of the DWP’s Frequently Asked Questions for Universal Credits.

Disability Living Allowance is also being replaced by Personal Independence Payments (PIP), you can read more about this on the DWP's website

What you can do to make sure you are ready for this change:

Ensure you have a bank account that they can pay Universal Credits into. It will also be easier to have your bills set up to be paid direct from your account. Please contact us on 0800 085 65 75 on setting up a Direct Debit to pay your Rent.

You can get more information on bank accounts by downloading our 'Bank Accounts' leaflets or by visiting Moneysavingexpert.com - Basic bank accounts

Are you able to apply online and manage your benefit claim online? If not, please contact us to see if there is any advice or assistance we can provide.

Make paying your rent a priority:

There are many different ways to pay your rent, garage rent, rechargeable repairs and former tenant arrears:

Start paying by Direct Debit . Payment of rent by direct debit must be monthly in advance. A one off payment of £35.00 will be credited to your rent account if you continue to pay by this method for at least 12 months.

Start paying by Standing Order . If you continue to pay by this method for 12 months, we will credit your account with £25.

If you are behind with your rent now, even by a small amount, speak to us straightaway to arrange a payment plan. Visit our page on Arrears and Counselling to find out more on how we can help.

Pay off (or reduce) any debts before the changes come in. Avoid getting into debt.