Universal Credit (UC)

Welfare Benefits are changing and more people are being moved onto a new kind of benefit – Universal Credit (UC).

Universal Credit Freephone: 0800 328 5644

Introduced by the UK Government, Universal Credit is a single monthly benefit that replaces working age benefits (such as income based job seekers allowance, tax credits, income support, incapacity benefit and housing benefit).

As tenants of Lochaber Housing Association you could be affected.  We are here to help you so if you would like more information or have any questions please contact us now on 01397 702530 or by email

Anyone making a new benefit claim or updating a current claim in Lochaber will now be moved onto Universal Credit.

There are important differences to Universal Credit you need to know about:

  • it can take six weeks from when you first make a claim until you get your first payment
  • payments will be made once a month, on the same date every month
  • the money is paid directly to your bank account and will include your housing costs (rent)
  • we won’t receive your rent payment directly so it’s up to you to pay your rent every month
  • you will be asked to sign a claimant commitment. If you don’t follow this, you can be sanctioned and lose all of your benefits
  • you will get an online journal which you will use to keep the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) updated on your circumstances.

Scottish Choices

The Scotland Act 2016 introduced other ways people can receive Universal Credit. This is known as Scottish Choices and it’s more flexible. You have the choice of:

  • being paid Universal Credit twice a month rather than monthly; and
  • having your Universal Credit housing element being paid directly to your landlord to cover your rent.

These choices will be offered to people making new claims for Universal Credit in full service areas. You’ll find this option in your online journal at the start of your second assessment period.