If you are awarded Universal Credit you will receive an allowance for your living expenses and housing costs where applicable. This is normally paid one month in arrears so you should take steps to ensure that you are able to discharge your rent liability. In some circumstances it may be possible for your Landlord to receive housing costs direct.
Personal Budgeting Support
Personal Budgeting Support (PBS) under full service remains the same. It is about helping claimants adapt to 3 key changes:
- a single household payment
- being paid monthly and
- rent paid directly to the claimant instead of to the Landlord
There are two elements to Personal Budgeting Support:
- Money Advice
- Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA)
There is also a Universal Credit personal planner available online to help claimants identify any changes they may need to make in order to manage their Universal Credit claim.
Detailed information can be found by selecting Universal Credit personal budgeting support and alternative payment arrangements guidance.
The Citizens Advice Bureaux will be able to offer advice on budgeting.
Managed payments to Landlord
We expect most Universal Credit claimants will receive the single monthly payment, taking responsibility for paying their own household bills including their rent on time.
However, we recognise that some claimants will need extra support and so alternative payment arrangements including a managed payment of the UC housing cost to the landlord can be considered in some cases to help protect tenancies.
Managed payments will be considered on a case-by-case basis and can be requested by landlords as well as claimants. They can be considered on request from the start of the claim or during the claim if the claimant has accumulated rent arrears which will put their tenancy at risk.
What are the key elements to consider
When a claimant has accumulated one month's rent arrears due to persistent underpayment, we will review the financial support they need and, if requested by the claimant or landlord, will consider making managed payments to their landlord if appropriate.
If a claimant has accrued two month's rent arrears, we will, if requested by the landlord, pay the UC housing costs direct to the landlord and take steps to recover the rent arrears through deductions from their remaining UC payment.
How to request a managed payment
Landlords can use the form available on GOV.UK – UC47 Universal Credit: Landlord request for a managed payment or rent arrears deduction to apply for a managed payment of the housing costs and recovery of arrears.
The information they will need to supply includes:
• tenants name, address, and if known their date of birth and National Insurance number
• current tenancy agreement including
• proof of the rent arrears which must include the amount of rent outstanding and the amount of rent due each calendar month
• the landlord’s contact details – their name and address plus their bank/ building society account number and sort code for the payments
• any reference number / transaction ID for that tenant
• the social landlords DWP creditor reference number.
Once UC receives this information they will decide whether or not a managed payment is appropriate and inform both the landlord and claimant.
The claimant will also be offered Personal Budgeting Support.
The Universal Credit Calculator will show your entitlement to Universal Credit and other benefits that you may be able to claim, whether in or out of work.