Full Service Universal Credit Now Live in Islington
In November 2015, the government began introducing the Universal Credit - a new means tested benefit - in Islington.
Universal Credit replaces six benefits: Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support, Employment & Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
Universal Credit (UC) is paid directly to the person claiming benefits, which means residents will become responsible for paying their full rent. Housing Benefit is no longer paid directly to a Council tenant's rent account, but is paid to the claimant as the housing element of Universal Credit-you must have a Bank Account to be able to receive this benefit.
Following an average six-week assessment period, Universal Credit payments are normally paid monthly in arrears. This could mean that you do not receive any benefits for a month when you move from Housing benefit to Universal Credit.
Anyone making a new claim for Income based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, and Housing Benefit, will now be making a claim for Universal Credit.
When making a claim for Universal Credit please ensure that you enter your landlord as 'Islington Council' and not 'Partners'.
This also applies when there is a Change of Circumstances (CofC). Once a new claim for UC is made in Islington, this should also trigger a claim for Council Tax Support.
However, there has been much discussion around whether or not a move in home is classed as a CofC, and it has been confirmed that where someone in receipt of Housing Benefit, moves house within Islington, this would be a change of circumstances for Housing Benefit and not a move to UC. It would only move them to UC if a new claim needed to be made.
There are exemptions for new claims of UC, where the housing benefit gateway will need to be open and are as follows:
- people who cannot make a new claim for UC full service because of the rules on households with more than 2 children, introduced on 6 April 2017 – these households can apply for other benefits (including housing benefit) instead
- people in ‘specified accommodation’ (previously known as ‘supported exempt accommodation’) – these housing costs will continue to be paid for by local authorities through housing benefit
- people in temporary accommodation – these housing costs will also be paid for by local authorities through housing benefit
You can find out more about universal credit here:
Need help with finding work or information about Benefits and Universal Credit?
Our friends at the Hyde Foundation have put together this great site called Betteroff.
BetterOff will show you the benefits you are entitled to and will help you to apply for them online.
BetterOff also provides information on how to find and apply for jobs.