Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th June 2019.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to bring forward proposals to simplify the process by which social housing landlords advise her Department of a rent increase in order for a tenant in receipt of universal credit to receive an uplift in housing benefit.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Universal Credit payments are designed to mirror the world of work, with monthly payments reflecting the way many working people are paid. This model of monthly payments allows claimants to take responsibility for budgeting their own income and helps prepare them for getting back to work.

Many claimants are capable of managing their own financial affairs and for these claimants a Managed Payment to Landlord is not appropriate. However, we recognise that additional support is sometimes necessarily to ensure rent is paid on time.

Our Trusted Partner scheme allows social landlords to play a key role in engaging with their tenants who are on Universal Credit, helping those who cannot manage their housing payments to access the support available and to help put managed payments in place where appropriate. We are rolling out the scheme alongside the Landlord Portal, which provides social landlords with the ability to submit information directly to the Universal Credit online system, supporting the timely and accurate payment of housing costs to Universal Credit claimants.

The Department is developing a facility whereby social landlords whose tenants are on the landlord portal are able to advise Universal Credit about an annual rent change through the platform. This will help reduce administration for landlords and ensure the correct housing costs are paid.

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