Coun­cil of­fers ten­ants Uni­ver­sal Credit sup­port

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Staff reporter

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

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