Last Updated: 31 July 2023
As part of its welfare reforms, the Government has introduced Universal Credit, which will replace six existing benefits, including housing benefit with a single monthly payment and applies to most working age customers. South Lakeland is now a Full Service Universal Credit area.
This means that if you live in South Lakeland, the way you apply for help towards your rent will be changing.
If you are on a low income or out of work, you may be eligible for Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a monthly payment and is replacing the following benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
If you are already receiving one or more of these benefits your local Jobcentre Plus or Tax Credits office will be letting you know when you will be moving onto Universal Credit. However if you want to make a new claim for one of the benefits listed above, in most cases, you will need to make a claim for Universal Credit instead.
How Universal Credit is different
Universal Credit is paid in one single payment per month, directly into your bank account. If your Universal Credit payment includes housing costs, you will need to pay this to your landlord.
How to claim Universal Credit
To make a claim, you will need to apply for Universal Credit online.
If you do not have access to the internet, you can get help making your claim from:
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), How to claim Universal Credit step by step
- Citizens Advice, Universal Credit
To make a claim you will need the following information:
- your postcode
- your National Insurance number
- your email address
- your mobile/telephone number
- details of the bank or building society you want Universal Credit paid into
- your rent agreement (if you have one) and proof of rent paid
- details of your savings or other capital
- details of any other benefits you are getting
- details of any children, including their Child Benefit number
What if the Housing element of your Universal Credit does not meet your full rent
Discretionary Housing payments (DHP) can help people in a temporary situation where they need extra help with their housing costs.
To be eligible for a discretionary housing payment you must be claiming housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit and you must satisfy the authority that you are in need of extra financial help.
A Discretionary Housing payment can be made to help make up any shortfall in the amount of housing costs included in your Universal Credit and your rent, help towards moving costs, or deposits required to move to more suitable accommodation, that may be more affordable to you.
Personal budgeting support
If you are experiencing financial difficulties and you would like help with personal budgeting support, please contact South Lakes Citizens Advice on 0808 2787 984.