Paying with welfare benefits
You can get help with your housing costs, depending on where you live, through either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
How much you get will depend on:
- where you live
- what savings you have
- how many people live with you
- your income.
Housing Benefit is gradually being replaced by payments under Universal Credit. Visit the Gov.uk Universal Credit page for more information.
Visit the Better Days website for more information about:
- welfare benefits, including Universal Credit;
- debt advice available to our customers through our partnership with Citizens' Advice; and
- money saving offers and tips for managing your household budget.
Making a claim for benefits
You must tell your local council’s housing benefit office, or the Department for Work and Pensions if you are claiming Universal Credit, of any personal changes immediately. If you don’t, you might have to pay back any overpayment or you might receive less than usual for a short time to make up the difference.
If you live in a home that’s bigger than you need, you’ll have to pay the Government’s bedroom under-occupancy charge (bedroom tax). If you can’t afford to do this you might want to think about moving to a smaller home. The HomeSwapper website helps tenants in council and housing association homes find other tenants looking to exchange properties.
You might also be entitled to discretionary housing payments to cover the increase. You can find out if you can claim these by speaking to your local housing benefit office. Any benefit will be paid for a limited time only.
Your local council can pay Housing Benefit directly to us, but you have to tell the Benefit office to do this. If Housing Benefit doesn’t cover all of your rent you’ll have to make up the difference. If your rent goes up you need to tell the Housing Benefit office (we’ll also inform the office of any rent changes).
For more information on housing benefit, go to the Government’s information pages.
If you’re struggling to pay your rent, or if your Housing Benefit stops for any reason, please contact us as soon as possible.
If you would like support to make a benefits claim please visit the Better Days website to find out more about the free, impartial support available to our customers.
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