Universal Credit housing cost is available if you and/or your partner are responsible for paying rent for the home you live in. Or if you have a mortgage.
This is also applicable to those who live in a Shared Ownership property.
You may also get help to pay your bills from your main universal credit payment.
Claiming Housing Cost
When you make a new claim for UC for your housing costs, the pay will be part of your Universal Credit payment.
If you are receiving Housing Benefit, the DWP will contact your local authority to stop your Housing Benefit payments.
At this point you will receive an extra payment of 2 weeks’ worth of Housing Benefit. This is to support you as you move to Universal Credit.
It is your responsibility to make sure you pay your rent and other housing costs to your landlord in full.
You can have your housing costs paid straight to your landlord ff you are having money trouble. Talk to your work coach, use your journal or call the helpline for more information.
If you are making a new Universal Credit claim it may be 5 weeks until you receive your first payment.
It’s a good idea to tell your landlord that you are claiming Universal Credit. This is so that they understand your situation.
You will need to tell them that you have made a new claim to Universal Credit. Also inform them that and that a claim for housing costs was also included.
If you are a tenant you have to be the person responsible for paying the rent to get help with your housing costs.
You will not usually qualify for help with housing costs if you:
- live in the home of a close relative
- are a full-time student (unless you have a disability or have children)
How much will I get?
Your housing costs element will depend on your eligible rent.
A size restriction applies when calculating your award.
This meas that your eligible rent may not be relevant in it’s entirety. If it’s considered you have more bedrooms than your household actually needs.
Find out more about this here
If you are a homeowner you must not have any earned income.
If you are making a claim as a couple, if either of you have any earned income, of any amount, you will not qualify for a housing costs element.
Owner-occupiers, who are leaseholders, can still receive help. Specifically with some service charges through UC Housing Costs Help.
To find out about if you qualify click here
How will I get paid?
Living in England? Get help with your rent or service charges through Universal Credit? You will usually receive the housing costs element straight to your bank account.
It will be your responsibility to make sure the right amount for your rent is paid to your landlord.
Are you worried that you will struggle to get the money to your landlord? You can ask for the amount for your rent to be paid direct to your landlord. This an Alternative Payment Arrangement or a Managed Payment to Landlords.
If you have a work coach. you should ask them about arranging to pay your rent direct to your landlord.
If you don’t have a work coach, you should call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644. You will need to explain in detail why you are struggling to manage your money on your own.
If you have other debts, addiction problems or mental health difficulties you should explain this.
To find out more about what you may be entitled to click here
or call one of our expert benefits advisers 0300 3300 900 options 2,2,3