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Summary of Key Changes to Welfare Reform:

Discretionary Housing Benefit – DHP

If tenants have any spare bedrooms in their home, the government considers them to be living in a house that is bigger than they need and under the ‘bedroom tax’ rules, their Housing Benefit will be cut. However, you may be eligible to have the ‘extra bedroom’ rent paid through receipt of DHP.  If you are affected by this, please contact for help and assistance.  You may be eligible to have the ‘extra bedroom’ paid for by Scottish Borders Council.

Universal Credit

The Scottish Borders is now a Full Service Universal Credit Area. Universal Credit is a benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work. It replaces several existing benefits and Tax Credits:

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

You cannot usually get any of these benefits or Tax Credits separately if you get Universal Credit.

Council Tax Reduction is not included in Universal Credit.  If you and/or your partner are liable to pay Council Tax as a resident of the Scottish Borders, you should apply for Council Tax Reduction to help pay your Council Tax and help with your monthly budgeting.

Who can claim?

You can no longer make a new claim to any of the benefits which are being replaced by Universal Credit.  If you are not currently receiving any of these benefits and you wish to make a claim you will have to claim Universal Credit.

If you are currently receiving any of the benefits being replaced and your circumstances are unchanged you do not need to claim Universal Credit at the moment.  The Department for Work and Pensions will transfer you on to Universal Credit in the future, and this is expected to be from mid-2019 onwards.

If you are currently receiving any of the benefits being replaced, and you have a change in your circumstances which means that you need to make a claim for a new or different benefit you will have to claim Universal Credit.

If you are a Universal Credit claimant, it will be your responsibility to pay your rent.  Waverley Housing can help you manage this, for advice and assistance please contact us at someone will contact you within 1 working day.

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