Help with rent and Council Tax

When you claim UC the housing element will be paid direct to you as part of your single monthly payment. You are responsible for paying your rent from this.

You must still claim separately for Council Tax Support and free school meals as this is not included in your Universal Credit payment.

Alternative payment arrangements

If you are having trouble managing your money whilst on Universal Credit you may be able to use an alternative payment arrangement. These are changes to the way that Universal Credit is paid that can help you to pay your bills and living costs.

Alternative payment arrangements can be one or more of:

  • Universal Credit housing costs paid straight to your landlord
  • More frequent payments, such as twice a month
  • Payments split and paid into two bank accounts instead of one

You can ask for an alternative payment arrangement at your new claim interview. If you are already receiving Universal Credit call the call the helpline or speak to your work coach for more information.  For more details see Universal Credit: help with managing your money.

Discretionary Housing Payment

Discretionary Housing Payments help people who need extra help with their rent when their Housing Benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit does not meet the full value of their rent. If you are suffering severe financial hardship as a result, or your tenancy is at risk you may be able to get a discretionary payment to help towards these payments.

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