What you can get

If you’re eligible for Universal Credit, you can get an extra amount of money to pay towards your housing costs.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

The money you get for housing can help pay for your:

Once you’ve started claiming you need to report any changes in your circumstances. If you do not, your benefits may stop.

If you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

You can apply for Universal Credit to help with living costs. Whether it can help with housing costs depends on your accommodation and how it supports you.

You can apply for Universal Credit to help with housing costs if both apply:

  • you live in supported or sheltered housing
  • you’re not getting ‘care, support or supervision’ through your housing

You cannot get Universal Credit to help with housing costs if any of the following apply:

  • you’re living in supported or sheltered housing (such as a hostel) which provides you with ‘care, support or supervision’
  • you’re living in temporary accommodation arranged by your council because you’re homeless
  • you’re living in a refuge for survivors of domestic abuse

Apply for Housing Benefit instead.

Other help with housing costs

You can apply for help with financial difficulties from your main Universal Credit payment.

You might also be able to:

Your benefits might go down if you get more than the benefit cap amount.

If the money you get for housing does not cover all your rent

You might be able to get extra help from your local council with your rent and other housing costs, for example a rent deposit or moving costs. This is called a ‘Discretionary Housing Payment’.

To apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment, contact your local council.

If you change your address

The amount of money you get for housing each month will be based on your housing costs at the end of your assessment period.

If you become homeless while you’re getting Universal Credit

You must report this in your online account. Your work coach can give you a break (called an ‘easement’) from your Claimant Commitment responsibilities so you have time to look for accommodation. You can still claim Universal Credit.

If you live in Scotland

You can get your extra amount for housing either:

  • paid to you in your Universal Credit payment
  • paid straight to your landlord

You can choose whether Universal Credit is paid once or twice a month.

If you’re making a new claim, you’ll get a notification about this after your first payment.

If you’re already getting Universal Credit and have not had a notification, you can ask your work coach.

Payment dates in Scotland

You can choose to be paid once or twice a month.

When you’re paid twice a month your first payment will be for a full month. You’ll get the first half of your second month’s payment a month after this. The second half will be paid 15 days later. This means there will be about a month and a half between your first payment and the full amount for your second month.

After this, you’ll be paid twice a month.


You get your first payment on 14 December. This payment is for a full month.

If you’re paid twice a month, you get half of your second payment on 14 January and the other half on 29 January.

You get paid on the 14th and 29th of each month after that.