If you already have a tenant who gets Universal Credit (UC), here’s something you need to know. .
It’s fiddly but important, so please bear with me.
The DWP stopped taking new claims for UC for most people in Sandwell several months ago – meaning that people who need help with their rent –still have to claim Housing Benefit. However – in November, the DWP will be introducing what’s called ‘Full Service’ UC to Sandwell and all applicants will need to claim UC with new claims for HB no longer being accepted (although there will be some minor exceptions)..
There are though, quite a large block of people in Sandwell who due to being in various special categories are actually on UC already. Their claims are dealt with under something called ‘Live Service’ UC which is a different administrative set-up from Full Service. Come this November – anyone on Live Service will have their UC cancelled and they will need to reapply for ‘Full Service’ UC..
Affected tenants will be notified by the DWP of any action they need to take and they will normally be invited to attend an interview at the Job Centre.
It is essential that they comply with any request that the DWP or Job Centre make. They must answer any letter or communication they receive and if asked to go to an interview –they must turn up. Failure to do so can mean that their UC claim will be cancelled.
We know from neighbouring authorities who are further along in this process than Sandwell, that unfortunately, a number of UC claimants (for whatever reason) are not doing what they need to do. This means that their UC is being cancelled, including the money to pay their rent.
So to put all of the above as simply as possible – make sure your tenant understands that if they get any communication from the DWP – THEY MUST DEAL WITH IT – or they can lose their benefit and their rent money.
If they get something they are not sure about – don’t leave it. Ring the phone number on the letter or just make sure they speak to someone.
And this neatly links to my next subject. If you have got any queries about UC and rent money and what UC means for landlords, – come to our landlord forum tomorrow where we will have experts form the DWP to answer your questions. (And of course we will be looking at a range of other landlord issues). If you didn’t see our last blog – we have had a last minute change of venue – the forum will be:
2.00 pm to 4.30 pm
Smethwick Mencap Club
Smethwick B66 3QR
Its FREE admission, FREE parking and best of all, FREE biscuits.
Hope to see you there.