The Welfare Reform Act became law on 8 March 2012 and contains some of the biggest changes to welfare benefits for over 60 years.

The main changes include:

  • Under Occupation
  • Benefit Cap
  • Universal Credit
  • Direct payments of Housing Benefit

Under Occupation

If you have at least one spare bedroom then Housing Benefit will be restricted to only allow payments for one bedroom for each person or couple. If you have a spare bedroom you're regarded as ‘under occupying’ the property and Housing Benefit will no longer pay for the additional room.  This means you'll have to make up the shortfall from your own income.

Benefit Cap

The Government has put a cap on the total amount of benefits that a single person or couple is entitled to. People of ‘working age’ will be subject to this benefit cap. This means the amount of benefits they receive is limited to £500 per week for couples and single parent households. This is limited to £350 per week for single adults.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is one single benefit that includes the following payments. It is a single monthly payment.

  • Working Tax Credits 
  • Child Tax Credits 
  • Income Support
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance 
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Income Based Job Seeker's Allowance 

The payments are made directly to the resident, and it is your responsibility to pay your rent on time. The best way to do this is by setting up a direct debit on the same day as your Universal credit is received.

Although there may be some exceptions for vulnerable people, it's essential all tenants have a way of paying their rent as soon as they receive their payment.

How to claim for UC

Your Universal Credit application must be completed online, to make an application please click here.

If you require further assistance making your claim online or managing your account, we are here to help. You can contact your Income officer on 0207 424 7370 who can provide assistance and support making your claim and managing your account.