From May 2018, Full Service Universal Credit was introduced to West Lothian. Universal Credit (UC) is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and replaced six key benefits and tax credits with one single monthly lump sum payment.
*Certain groups of people will continue to claim Housing Benefit. Contact your Housing Officer if you have been told that you cannot get your housing costs through UC. Applications for UC should be made online at: www.gov.uk/universal-credit
If you get help with your rent, this will be included in your Universal Credit payment (referred to as ‘Housing Costs’). It will be your responsibility to pay the full amount to your landlord directly. In Scotland however, you can request that your UC payment is split and that the rent payment is paid directly to your landlord. But if you do not request this, then your rent payment will be made to you.
For UC applicants who do not pay their rent in full, landlords can request that your rent is taken from your UC payment and made directly to them. They can also request an amount to cover rent arrears, if you have them. They do not need your permission to do this. If you think this is happening speak to your Housing Officer, it is likely that they have been trying to contact you before requesting this.
Following the introduction, on 16th May 2018, of Universal Credit in West Lothian you can only claim Housing Benefit if you meet one or more of the following conditions: -
· You live in and pay rent for a property in which you receive care, support or supervision.
· You live in and pay rent for temporary accommodation.
· You are liable to pay rent and are entitled to a Severe Disability Premium or have been entitled to a Severe Disability Premium in the last month.
· You are liable to pay rent and have reached your state pension age, and are not part of a mixed age couple, a mixed age couple is where one member of a couple has reached pension age and the other is still of working age.
To find out if you are eligible for Housing Benefit, contact West Lothian Council on 01506 439291.