If you didn’t know already, the government recently announced a ‘significant acceleration’ in the rolling out of Universal Credit. This is the new benefit which replaces a whole list of existing benefits that are being phased out, including Housing Benefit.
It will reach all parts of the country by the end of 2015, though different areas will see it arrive at different times. We now know that Birmingham and Dudley are in the first wave of areas affected and will start to see Universal Credit claims in February / March 2015.
At the moment, this will only be for new claims for single people who do not have children living with them. One important point is that although we won’t be seeing Universal Credit claims in Sandwell quite yet, anyone who is awarded the Credit who moves into our borough will have their Universal Credit claim travel with them, so they cannot claim Housing Benefit. I’m sorry that we don’t have anything more substantial to tell you at present, but we will be passing on more information as soon as we can.