Council offers tenants Universal Credit support
South Lanarkshire Council is offering support to Rutherglen and Cambuslang tenants affected by Universal Credit.
The UK Government’s new benefit came into operation in the two towns earlier this month as part of its phased introduction across the UK.
Universal Credit is a new type of benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work.
It will replace six existing benefits – Housing Benefit, income-based Job Seekers Allowance, income- based Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit – into a single payment.
It will initially affect new single claimants with no dependant children, who are of working age and would have previously made a claim for Job Seekers Allowance.
It is administered and paid by the Department for Work and Pensions and is paid monthly in arrears directly into the claimant’s bank, building society or credit union account.
One of the biggest changes for claimants is that Housing Benefit will not be paid separately but will be included in the overall Universal Credit payment.
This means that tenants receiving the benefit will be responsible for paying their own rent.
The local authority has a number of measures in place to support any of our tenants affected by Universal Credit.
Annette Finnan, head of area services at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “Universal Credit will mean a massive change for people who have been used to Housing Benefit being paid.
“Any tenant, whether they are in social rented housing or are renting privately, who moves onto Universal Credit should contact their landlord as soon as possible to let them know, and to discuss their rent payment options or any concerns they may have.
“Our Benefits are Changing Team is more than happy to offer advice and assistance to council tenants.
“The focus of the team will be to make sure the UC claim has been made and the best rent payment method is established.
“The team are also on hand to assist in accessing other services.
“In addition, the Council’s Money Matters Advice Service can help anyone who is affected, providing advice on a range of financial matters, including aiding people to draw up a monthly budget to ensure they don’t get into debt, or to help them work a way out of it if they are already in difficulty.”
The council’s Benefits are Changing team can be contacted at benefitsarechanging@ southlanarkshire.gov.uk or on 0303 123 1012.
The Money Matters Advice Service is available on 0303 123 1008.
Further details on ways to pay rent to the council and on Money Matters can be found at the council website, www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk
Anyone seeking information on Universal Credit can find it from the DWP at www.gov.uk/universalcredit
The team are also on hand to assist in accessing other services
Advice South Lanarkshire Council have vowed to help those affected by Universal Credit