Renfrewshire Council

What is Universal Credit?

Here you will find information on what Universal Credit is.

Universal Credit (UC) will replace six key benefits and tax credits with a single monthly payment. Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and aims to make the welfare system for working age customers simpler.

UC will replace the following benefits and tax credits;

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

People who already receive any of the six benefits and tax credits listed above, will continue to do so unless they have a change in their circumstances which would cause their benefits to be re-assessed. In that case, a new claim for UC would be required.

Tip: If you already claim these six benefits or tax credits you do not need to do anything until DWP get in contact with you

Housing Benefit

From 1st February, if you claim Universal Credit this will usually include your housing costs (previously Housing Benefit)

Some groups of people will continue to claim Housing Benefit. For example, new claims to Housing Benefit within Renfrewshire can only be considered for;

·    Claimants who have reached Pension Age

·    Claimants who live in supported exempt accommodation

·    Claimants who live in temporary accommodation

·    Claimants who have a Severe Disability Premium included in their Housing Benefit, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance (IR) or Jobseeker's  Allowance (IB) award

Those still eligible to apply for Housing Benefit should continue to do so through Renfrewshire Council.

For everyone else, Universal Credit should be claimed for help with housing costs.

Changes to Housing Benefit eligibility from 15 May 2019

From 15 May 2019, if you're in a couple you'll only be eligible to start getting Housing Benefit if either:

  • you and your partner have both reached State Pension age
  • one of you has reached State Pension age and started claiming Housing Benefit or Pension Credit (for you as a couple) before 15 May 2019

If you're not already getting Housing Benefit on 14 May 2019, you can backdate your claim. You could still be eligible to get Housing Benefit.

You can ask for your claim to be backdated to 14 May or before. You'll need to apply by 13 August 2019 to do this.

You can apply for Universal Credit instead if you're still not eligible.

Council Tax Reduction should be claimed through Renfrewshire Council regardless of these changes as this is not included in Universal Credit.

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