Universal Credit Advice for Council Tenants
What Universal Credit means to you if you are a council tenant.
Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It will eventually replace many of the benefits and tax credits you may be getting at the moment. This replacement is called "Managed Migration." The Department for Work and Pensions started moving "legacy" claimants to Universal Credit in 2022. It is expected that all claimants will be migrated by March 2025. You should speak to a Welfare Rights Advisor if you have any queries or concerns regarding Managed Migration.
Each year from April you must log onto your UC journal and complete a 'Confirm your housing costs'. You can access your Universal Credit account here. If you have not done this, it's not too late, please update it now with the change from 4 April 2022. Failure to do this will result in rent arrears owing. You can find your rent charge by using the Tenants' Self Service.
If you need support with making your claim, please see the Citizens Advice Scotland pages
You can get access to the internet at:
When you claim Universal Credit online, you need to provide an address for your landlord. For West Lothian Council tenants this is:
Housing, Customer and Building Services
Howden South Road
You will also need to verify your rent costs. For help with this please visit your local CIS office or use the contact details on this page. For more information on what you will need before you apply, please see the Citizen's Advice Bureau's page.
Universal Credit will be paid monthly into your bank account. This means you'll have to start managing your money across the whole month. You will find it useful to set up Direct Debits and standing orders for bills, like your rent and utilities. In some cases, you can request an Alternative Payment Arrangement. You can request that your Housing Element of Universal Credit is paid directly to West Lothian Council as your landlord.
Your housing costs will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment. It will be your responsibility to pay the full amount to your landlord directly every month. For more information, please see the government's Housing Costs and Universal Credit page.
To help manage your rent and make a rent payment arrangement, please contact your local Housing office on 01506 280000. If you need help with budgeting contact the Advice Shop.
Once you are on Universal Credit and start working, you will need to tell the DWP of your change of circumstances, but do not close your claim as you may still be entitled to some Universal Credit. Please see the leaflet.
For more information, please see the and council's Universal Credit page