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Welfare Reform

Full Service Universal Credit will be rolled out in the Scottish Borders from late 2018 onwards (we are still waiting on confirmation of the exact date from the Department of Work and Pension).  Meantime if you are in receipt of existing benefits you will continue to receive these as normal until this date.

However all new claimants or claimants who have a change to their circumstances from 14 June 2018 onwards will become Universal Credit (UC) claimants.  UC will replace the benefits listed below and will be paid to you as one monthly payment.

Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:

·        Child Tax Credit.

·        Housing Benefit.

·        Income Support.

·        income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

·        income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

·        Working Tax Credit.

To receive UC you will have to claim on- line. The Department for Work and Pensions advise that once your claim has been completed you must attend the Job Centre to agree and sign a Claimant Commitment in order to receive your first payment.  Once you receive your first payment, it will then be your responsibility to pay your rent.

To help claimants budget their money and reduce the possibility of falling into rent arrears, the Scottish Government has introduced ‘Scottish Flexibilities’.  This means that once you have received your first payment you can log onto your personal portal and choose to have your UC paid to you monthly or twice monthly; you can also choose to have your rent paid directly to your landlord monthly or twice monthly. If you are already in receipt of UC you too can now request for direct payments to your landlord; please speak to your job coach for information as to how to do this.

If you are responsible for paying any shortfall payment to your rent this will continue; UC will only pay the portion of rent that you are entitled to.

Waverley Housing strongly advises all UC claimants to pay their rent directly to us, thus allowing you peace of mind knowing that your rent is paid.

We will be contacting all our Housing Benefit tenants in due course to discuss the transition from your existing benefits over to UC, however if you would like to discuss anything regarding your rent and/or UC, please contact us via our email address at info@waverley-housing.co.uk or by telephone on 01450 364200.

Other Useful Contacts

Department for Work and Pensions
Website: www.dwp.gov.uk
Telephone: 0800 055 6688

Scottish Borders Council
Website: www.scotborders.gov.uk/welfarereform
Customer Services: 0300 100 1800
Welfare Benefits Service: 01896 661394

Citizens Advice Bureau
Website: www.cas.org.uk
Galashiels Office: 01896 753889
Hawick Office: 01450 374266
Kelso Office: 01573 223516

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