Universal Credit is a benefit which brings together six benefits and replaces them with a single monthly payment. It is a working age benefit for those who are either out of work or in work and on a low income.
Universal Credit has replaced:
- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Any benefits you receive which are not in the list above will continue to be paid separately – for example Child Benefit, Carer’s Allowance and the Personal Independence Payment.
- Must be claimed online
- Is paid monthly
- Includes housing costs – so you are responsible for making rent payments to your landlord
Tell us straight away if you are claiming Universal Credit so that we can help you avoid rent arrears.
When are Universal Credit payments made?
Universal Credit is paid once per month. You will be given a payment date and will receive your payment on the same date each month.
If you receive financial help to pay your rent, this will be included in your Universal Credit payment. This is called the Housing Costs Element. There will no longer be a separate Housing Benefit payment which means that you will pay your rent directly to us as your landlord.
Your Housing Costs Element might not cover your full rent. If this is the case, you will need to top-up the payment from your personal allowance. If you have arrears, these will also need to be paid from your personal allowance.
Your first Universal Credit payment
From your date of claim it may be 5-6 weeks before you receive your first payment. If you will find it difficult to manage during these weeks you can ask the DWP for an advance payment. Advance payments are deducted from future Universal Credit payments.
Paying your rent
The easiest and most convenient way to pay your rent is to set up a Direct Debit or standing order. These methods will help you to avoid getting into rent arrears through missed or late payments.
You can set up a Direct Debit very quickly by calling our customer services team on 0800 048 8955.
You can find out more on our My rent page.
Always make rent your top priority. If you don’t pay your rent in full and on time, you risk losing your home.
If you are having difficulties paying your rent, are concerned about debt or are worried about losing your home, please talk to us – there may be ways we can help.