If you are moving from housing benefit to Universal Credit you will continue to receive housing benefit for 2 weeks after you claim.
The extra 2 weeks of housing benefit will not affect how much Universal Credit you get.
You do not need to contact the DWP or us to get this extra 2 weeks of housing benefit. It will be paid automatically when you first claim Universal Credit.
You will only get the extra 2 weeks of housing benefit once. This will be when you first claim Universal Credit.
Moving from housing benefit to Universal Credit also means your rent will be paid differently. Here are some important things you should do to prepare:
You will need to have a bank account
To receive your payment, you will need a bank or building society account. You may want to set up a separate basic bank account. This will help you to keep the money you need for your rent separate from the money you use for other spending.
Set up a suitable payment method to pay your rent
If you currently get housing benefit, your rent will no longer be paid to directly to your landlord. The money you will need for or towards rent will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment. You will need to pay your landlord yourself, for example, by Direct Debit.
Plan ahead with your rent, make it a priority
Because it can take up to 5 weeks to get your first payment, you will need to make sure you have enough money put by for your rent so you don’t fall behind. Make small but regular additional payments to your rent account to make this more manageable.
Draw up a monthly budget
Because Universal Credit is paid monthly, you may need to make changes to the way you budget. You can request personal budgeting support from your Jobcentre Plus work coach when you claim Universal Credit.
The DWP expect you to claim Universal Credit and manage your account online. If you need help getting online, speak to your local Jobcentre Plus or you may find it helpful to use our Citizen’s Advice Bureau Help to Claim Service.
Tell your landlord that you are claiming Universal Credit
If you are claiming Universal Credit, it’s important to tell your landlord so that proof of rent can be supplied with any other advice on what you need to do.
To submit a claim for Universal Credit you will be asked to verify your ID. You can plan ahead by verifying yourself now. This will speed up the payment process when you make an application.