Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

Universal Credit

Universal Credit was rolled out across the Ribble Valley by November 2018. Most working age claimants will need to claim Universal Credit at a Job Centre that deals with Ribble Valley Borough Council's area.

Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP). Information about who’s eligible and how to make a claim is available on the GOV.UK website.

You will need to allow time for your Universal Credit online application because you will not be able to save the online application and go back to it. It may take between 20 and 40 minutes.

You will need the following information to claim online:

  • Yours National Insurance number
  • Details of a bank, building society or Post Office into which your Universal Credit will be paid
  • Your rent agreement (if you have one)
  • Details of any savings and other capital
  • Details of any non-work income – for example income from an insurance plan
  • Details of any other benefits you already get
  • You might also need these details for people who live in your home, e.g. your partner.

Do not delay in making your claim as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) cannot backdate your claim except in exceptional circumstances.

Who is affected by Universal Credit

Universal Credit has replaced six benefits with a single monthly payment. The benefits replaced:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit

If you are already in receipt of benefits, your local Jobcentre Plus or Tax Credits office will tell you when you have to apply for Universal Credit.

You may still be able to make a claim for:

  • New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance Contributions
  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance Contributions

Please speak to your local Job Centre to discuss eligibility

If you currently receive Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Housing Benefit and have a change in your circumstance that would end the benefit, if you need to re-apply you will now have to make a claim for Universal Credit.

Payments of Universal Credit

If you cannot manage your own monthly rent payments, you can request direct payments to your landlord in certain circumstances. You will need to explain your situation to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and they will decide on this for you.

The DWP may be able to refer you to Citizen’s Advice Bureau for help with personal budgeting and support if you require it.

You can get help with budgeting from the Money Advice Service.

For more information please download the leaflet Universal Credit Information Leaflet for Landlords.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments will still be available from Ribble Valley Borough Council even if you no longer claim Housing Benefit. You will need to have your housing costs met through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit to apply for this additional help.

You will still need to claim Housing Benefit if you:

Live in supported accommodation or

Live in sheltered accommodation or

Live in temporary accommodation or

Are of pension credit age.

Council Tax Support

You will not be able to claim help with your Council Tax within Universal Credit. If you are currently liable for paying rent and Council tax at your property your housing costs will be included in your single monthly Universal Credit payment but you will need to apply for your Council Tax Support from Ribble Valley Borough Council.

Failure to complete a claim form for Council Tax Support will result in you paying full Council Tax. For more information see the Council Tax Support Scheme.

 You will need to provide us with your Universal Credit award letter when you first receive it and provide the notification each time the award is changed.

Contact information

If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.