Universal credit has been introduced to Croydon and has replaced housing benefit in certain circumstances and a range of benefits for working age people. Whether you claim Universal Credit or Housing Benefit will depend on your postcode and your personal circumstances. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are responsible for administering Universal Credit.
With effect from 6 April 2017 families with three children or more will no longer be able to make a new claim for Universal Credit and will have to make a claim for Housing Benefit and Tax Credits. This change affects families making a new claim for Universal Credit.
If you are already in receipt of Universal Credit and have three or more children you will continue to claim Universal Credit. If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and have three or more children you will continue to remain on Housing Benefit.
Please select this link to apply for tax credits.
To claim housing benefit you must be: -
- Resident and liable for rent and/or council tax;
- And not eligible for Universal Credit
- Pension age residents are not affected by UC and should continue to claim for HB.
However you need to still claim for CTR and to do so you will need to apply online.
The amount of housing benefit and/or council tax support you get depends on:
· how much money you have coming in
· the amount of savings you have
· your personal circumstances
· the maximum rent for your property (Housing Benefit)
· your weekly amount of Council Tax (Council Tax Benefit)
· and the postcode of the area you live in.
In order to work out your benefit, we compare the money you have coming in each week against the money you need to live on. This is called the Applicable Amount and is a standard national figure which the Government believes reflects the basic living needs of an applicant and their family.
The amount you need to live on is worked out using fixed amounts called personal allowances and premiums.
We may take into account:
· your age
· any disabilities or special needs you have, and
· the number of dependents living with you
The rent used to work out your benefit depends on the type of tenancy you have.
When we look at the money you pay to live in your property (your rent), we do not pay for services that may be included in your rent such as:
- water charges
- heating, lighting, hot water, fuel for cooking
- use of laundry
- care and support.
Before you decide to move into a privately rented property, you can find out how much rent we will use to work out your benefit by checking the local housing allowance rates that will apply to you
You can check the LHA rates for you, based on the area you live in.
Until we have all the necessary information and evidence to process your claim we cannot tell you exactly how much benefit you will get. You can use our benefit calculator for an estimated calculation of housing benefit and/or council tax support.
Housing Benefit does not pay for mortgage repayments. You may wish to contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) office who may be able to help you if you are on Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance and some other relevant benefits.
If you have someone who is over 18 years of age living with you and they are not your partner, we usually have to make a deduction from your benefit. This deduction is based on their gross income and you may have to provide evidence of this.
If you cannot provide evidence we may reduce your benefit by the maximum deduction for a non-dependant. This may mean that you will not qualify for benefit.
A deduction will not be made if, for example, the non-dependant is under 18 or you or your partner receives Attendance Allowance.
Where a claimant or partner is 65 or over and a non-dependant joins your household, we will delay the non-dependant deduction for 26 weeks. This also applies when a non-dependant already living with you has a change in income that would normally mean an increase in the deduction already being made.
You must still tell us about any changes relating to non-dependants. For further advice please contact the Customer Services Team.
Can I get any additional help?
If you are getting Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support but still find it difficult to pay your rent and/or council tax, you may be able to get extra help towards your housing costs in the form of a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). These are not benefit payments, but are paid in addition to your benefit and are based on your circumstances.
You can only apply for a DHP if you are already receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support and that benefit does not cover the full amount of rent or council tax liability.
DHPs cannot pay for the services included in your rent like fuel, water, electricity, or arrears of rent and council tax.
We use discretion in awarding DHPs, as the money available for these is limited. They are only awarded where we feel there is genuine need. DHPs should not be relied upon as a permanent solution to your shortfall in income.
If you are receiving housing benefit or council tax support, you can view your benefit/support claim online which gives you a detailed breakdown of how your claim was worked out, your payments and much more on My Account.
You can register at www.croydon.gov.uk/myaccount
Housing Benefit & Council Tax Support
Housing benefit section
London Borough of Croydon
Bernard Weatherill House
8 Mint Walk
Croydon, CR0 1EA