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    • JMoore2209
    • By JMoore2209 16th Jan 20, 9:39 AM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Universal credit and moving onto housing benefit
    • #1
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:39 AM
    Universal credit and moving onto housing benefit 16th Jan 20 at 9:39 AM
    We are currently in receipt of child tax credit and child benefit. We live with my in laws and only help toward the bills not officially renting from them. We are currently looking for a place of our own to rent but when we do we will need housing benefit help to pay our way.
    My question is this... Is it better /quicker to swap onto universal credit now and add housing benefit on when we know the details. Ie will it then automatically go into our next payment for the extra. Or is it better when we've found somewhere to make a completely new claim with all of the benefit help we need and wait the five weeks for the first payment to come through.

    Hope this makes sense to others the way it does in my head and thank you x
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    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 16th Jan 20, 1:51 PM
    • 4,433 Posts
    • 3,009 Thanks
    • #2
    • 16th Jan 20, 1:51 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jan 20, 1:51 PM
    You cannot claim Housing Benefit. If you want help with rent you have to claim Universal Credit. This will end your Tax Credits claim.

    I suggest doing a benefits calculation to compare what you are entitled to if you claimed UC now compared to what you currently get on Tax Credits. Your Child Benefit will not change.

    If the results are similar you could claim UC now and add housing later. In this situation once you sign a tenancy your UC award will adjusted to include help with the rent from the start of the assessment period and will be included in your next payment. If you sign your tenancy near the end of your assessment period this means you actually get help with rent for some weeks before you are actually renting.

    This way you will not be stressed out trying to make a UC claim at the same time as sorting out the tenancy etc.

    Bear in mind that the amount of help you can get is limited to the applicable Local Housing Allowance and may not (probably will not) cover all of your rent. See

    Obviously this will not be sensible if you are going to get less on UC than on Tax Credits. You also need to think about the conditionality that goes with UC.
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