Guidance

Moving from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit

You can continue to get Housing Benefit for 2 weeks after you move to Universal Credit.

If you move from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit, your Housing Benefit will continue to be paid for 2 weeks after you claim Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is paid once a month. This extra 2 weeks of Housing Benefit is to help with your housing costs while you wait for your first payment of Universal Credit. You do not need to pay it back.

The extra 2 weeks of Housing Benefit will not affect how much Universal Credit you get.

You do not need to contact DWP or your council to get this extra 2 weeks of Housing Benefit. It will be paid automatically when you first claim Universal Credit.

You will only get the extra 2 weeks of Housing Benefit once, this will be when you first claim Universal Credit.

If you need help to pay your bills or other costs while you wait for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply for an advance.

How you’re paid

Your council will pay the extra 2 weeks Housing Benefit.

If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to you

The extra money will be paid to you in line with your usual Housing Benefit payment cycle.

If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to your landlord

The extra money will usually be paid to your landlord in line with the usual Housing Benefit payment cycle.

If you’ve claimed Universal Credit because you’ve changed address, the extra money will be paid directly to you. This is because the council may not have your new landlord’s details.

If you have rent arrears

You should contact your landlord to discuss how they may use the extra money to help pay off what you owe.

If you don’t have rent arrears

You should contact your landlord to ask them to:

  • put the extra money towards your next rent payment (so you pay less rent the following month)
  • pay the extra money to you

Claiming Universal Credit in temporary or emergency housing

You can’t get help with housing costs with Universal Credit if:

  • your council has placed you in temporary housing because you’re homeless
  • you’re in supported or sheltered housing

Your housing costs are paid by Housing Benefit.

If you move out of temporary, supported or sheltered housing when you’re already claiming Universal Credit, you will not get the extra 2 weeks payment of Housing Benefit. This is because the extra 2 weeks payment is to help you when you make your first claim to Universal Credit and are moving from Housing Benefit.

Deductions from your Housing Benefit

If your council was making deductions from your Housing Benefit, for example to pay back an overpayment, those deductions will also be taken from the extra 2 weeks of Housing Benefit.

Published 11 April 2018