Should you be getting Universal Credit or Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit for working age people living in Bury Council's area.
Universal Credit is also replacing:
- income based Jobseeker's Allowance
- income based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Am I eligible for Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is only paid to working age people. If you are of pension age you will continue to get Housing Benefit. If you are part of a couple where one of you is pension age and the other is working age then you will eventually have to claim Universal Credit.
All working age households in Bury Council's area can claim Universal Credit apart from those:
- living in supported accommodation - where you landlord provides care and support as part of your rent
- living in temporary accommodation - when the council has provided you with housing because you were homeless
Households who aren't eligible for Universal Credit should claim Housing Benefit to help pay their rent.
When do I have to claim Universal Credit?
At the moment, if you are eligible, you can only get Universal Credit if you are making a new claim, or if you have a change in your circumstances.
If you aren't getting benefits or tax credits and you need to apply, for example because you have stopped work, you will get Universal Credit. You do not have the choice to claim Housing Benefit instead.
If you are already getting benefits or tax credits
If you are getting Housing Benefit and nothing changes then you won't move over to Universal Credit until the Department for Work and Pensions are ready. This won't start until late 2020, at the earliest. You will be told when this is going to happen.
Could you move over to Universal Credit sooner?
You may have to move over sooner if you stop getting one benefit, and start getting one of the benefits or tax credits being replaced by Universal Credit. This could be because you:
- start or stop work
- have a child
- are unable to work due to sickness or disability
- become available for work after being sick
- start or stop being a carer
If something changes which means you would normally stay on the same type of benefit then you won't move over to Universal Credit, and you will continue to get Housing Benefit.
A full list is available on the Entitledto website or call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm).
What does this mean if you get Housing Benefit?
If you move address within the borough you will continue to get Housing Benefit.
If you move into the borough from outside you will need to claim Universal Credit
If something happens in your life which means you have to move over to Universal Credit then your Housing Benefit will stop as well. If this happens, you will get an extra 2 weeks Housing Benefit to help with the move over to Universal Credit.