Universal Credit UK: Britons can claim this support for their housing costs
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Universal Credit, overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), offers a regular sum of money to those on a low income, or who have found themselves out of work. To be eligible, one must be over the age of 18 in most circumstances, but under State Pension age, with savings of £16,000 or less. Claimants can expect to receive their Universal Credit payout once every month into the bank account of their choice.
For individuals who are eligible to receive Universal Credit, some may also be able to get extra assistance with their housing.
This is known as the housing payment, and it is administered by the DWP.
A housing payment can be particularly valuable as it covers a number of costs which may be relevant to a person’s circumstances.
Housing payments can help Britons pay rent to a private landlord, rent and some service charges if an individual is renting from a local authority or housing association, and even interest payments on a mortgage.
Help is even at hand for those who are currently living in supported, sheltered or temporary housing.
However, these individuals must not be receiving care, support or supervision through their housing to be entitled to the payment.
Instead, they may wish to explore the option of Housing Benefit, also overseen by the DWP.
Aside from the standard housing payment, though, there is also additional help at hand for claimants.
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Those on Universal Credit may be entitled to receive a Council Tax Reduction, which provides a discount on what is often considered to be a substantial bill for many households.
This, however, is dependent upon the local authority in which a person lives, so entering a postcode on the government’s website will allow claimants to find out more about their circumstances.
A Council Tax bill could be reduced by up to 100 percent, but what a person gets is dependent on a number of factors.
This includes where a person lives, their circumstances and their household income.
Other housing support falls under the category of individuals who are facing financial difficulties.
An Alternative Payment Arrangement, otherwise known as an APA, is often considered to be a good solution for those who have fallen behind on rent.
APAs can be applied for by a landlord or the individual concerned, and depending on a person’s circumstances, they could get the arrangement to:
- get rent paid directly to a landlord
- get paid more frequently than once a month
- receive split payments if they are part of a couple
However, claimants are encouraged to speak to their work coach if they believe an APA would be a good arrangement for them.
Assistance with housing costs and bills is also available for Britons who need an extra helping hand.
For individuals who have no income, BT Basic can provide low monthly line rental with a call allowance, as well as a monthly ‘price cap’ for certain numbers.
In addition, the WaterSure service allows Britons to have their energy bills capped if they have a water meter.
As winter approaches, some claimants may benefit from a Cold Weather Payment – issued when the average temperature in an individual’s area is recorded or forecasted as zero degrees celsius or below over seven days.
Finally, the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) could provide vital support if a council decides a person needs extra help in meeting their housing costs.
DHPs can be used to cover costs such as a rent shortfall, or rent deposits.
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