Will You Qualify for a Housing Payment?
The changes were first introduced in April 2017. It meant that some people aged between 18 and 21 will no longer qualify for the housing costs element.
Note: The change only applies to claimants in Universal Credit full service areas.
You must already be getting Universal Credit if you rent a home in a ‘live service’ area to get the housing payment.
Using the Citizens Advice eligibility checker will show you whether you are living in a ‘live service’ or a ‘full service’ area.
The eligibility criteria for Universal Credit changes if you rent a home in a ‘full service’ area. You would qualify for a housing payment if at least one of these apply to your situation:
- You are claiming as a couple (not a single person).
- You are unable to live with your parents or you do not have parents.
- You moved home and received a housing payment at your previous address up to the date that you moved. But, there cannot be a break in this process.
- You moved home and received Housing Benefit at your previous address up to the date that you moved. But, there cannot be a break in this process.
- You are a care leaver (and left before you reached 18).
- You are a victim of domestic violence.
- You are a disabled person.
- You get (either):
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
- The daily living part of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
- Armed Forces Independence Payment.
- You are responsible for either a child or a qualifying young person.
- You are expecting to have a baby in the next eleven (11) weeks.
- You are in court for any reason, in custody, or on remand.
- You earn over the minimum earnings (or earned them in the last six (6) months).
Note: Further guidance explains the rules for housing costs for 18 to 21 year olds getting Universal Credit since the 1st of April 2017.
What UC Housing Payments Help to Pay
Having eligibility for the ‘Universal Credit housing costs payment’ could help you to pay for:
- Rent paid while renting from a private landlord.
- Rental payments and some service charges (e.g. paid to a local authority or a housing association).
- Mortgage interest payments and some service charges if you (or your partner) own the property that you are living in.
Getting Help to Manage Your Rent
Check to see if you qualify for other financial support or help managing your rent. The system can make direct payments to your landlord. In some cases, you might get an advance, a loan, or a hardship payment.