Housing benefit important changes to claiming benefits

In January 2016, the Government’s new welfare benefit scheme – Universal Credit was introduced in the London Borough of Hounslow.

Most people living in the borough who need to make a new application for financial support or tax relief will now make a claim for Universal Credit using the Universal Credit website.

Universal Credit is part of the Government’s wider welfare reform plans. It replaces six working age benefits into a single household benefit.

These are:

  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance.

The phasing in of Universal Credit hasn’t started in some areas of the London Borough of Hounslow that have postcodes beginning UB, W4, W6 and TW14 8 as these areas are covered by neighbouring Job Centres. In due course all Job Centres will move to Universal Credit.

To check if your postcode makes you eligible to apply for Universal Credit, visit the Universal Credit website and start your application. If your postcode is not covered by Universal Credit you will be told you cannot claim and you will be directed to other benefit websites. If you are eligible to apply, you can make your application online claim where you’ll be guided through the process of setting up an online account.

People who are not eligible for Universal Credit and who need support with paying rent will need to make a new claim for Housing Benefit. Before making a claim, we suggest that you first use the free benefits calculator. This will check if you’re eligible for housing or council tax benefit, and give you an idea of how much you could receive.

This calculation is an estimate only, for a full evaluation, you must make a formal claim for benefit via our online portal.

Advice for claiming other benefits

Please visit www.gov.uk/browse/benefits

If you’re already claiming benefits, these separate benefit payments will continue and you’ll be told by the DWP when Universal Credit will affect you.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for providing Universal Credit; not the council. Hounslow Jobcentre Plus manages this service locally.


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