Extra rent support for new Universal Credit claimants

Housing benefit claimants moving onto Universal Credit will receive an extra fortnight of rent support from this week, the Work and Pensions Secretary has said.

Esther McVey said the change, due to come into effect on Wednesday, will help claimants transition onto the new benefit scheme.

New Universal Credit claimants who get help with their housing costs will continue to receive housing benefit for two weeks after their claim ends to allow them to adjust to the monthly payments system.

Esther McVey
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Ms McVey, commenting on the extra help with housing costs worth £550 million, said: "We understand that moving onto Universal Credit can be a big change for those used to the previous benefits system - especially the monthly payment, designed to reflect the world of work.

"So this week, extra rent support is being made available to allow people to adjust from fortnightly Housing Benefit payments to monthly Universal Credit ones.

"Universal Credit removes the barriers which prevented people from taking up work in the past, most notably the 16 hour cut off rule and the prohibitive tax rates should someone start work.

"Instead, Universal Credit ensures it pays to take on extra hours of work, and provides additional employment support to not only help get you into a job but also progress up the career ladder."

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