On 14 December 2016 the Department for Work and Pensions' Universal Credit scheme was introduced in Hastings and St Leonards.
Please read the details below very carefully as these changes may affect you.
Housing Benefit changes for people of Working Age
1. From 14 December 2016 those of working age and living in Hastings or St Leonards, are not be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit. Instead, if you require help to pay rent/housing costs, you will need to make an online claim for Universal Credit. To find out more about how to do this, see the Universal Credit area below.
2. If you are Working Age and already receiving Housing Benefit it may be replaced by Universal Credit if your circumstances change. If this happens you will be notified.
Housing Benefit information for people of Pension Age
1. If you are of pensionable age you will not be affected by the DWP's Universal Credit roll out.
2. You may still be entitled to make a new claim for Housing Benefit.
3. To make a claim for Housing Benefit you will need to use the approved claim form. You will need to submit this form to us and not the DWP.
Council Tax Reduction
Council Tax Reduction is a local scheme for Council Tax payers.
1. You can claim Council Tax Reduction if you are liable to pay Council Tax in Hastings and St Leonards and are of working age (even if you receive Universal Credit).
2. You can claim Council Tax Reduction if you are liable to pay Council Tax in Hastings and St Leonards and are of pension age.
3. You will need to make your Council Tax Reduction claim to us using the approved claim form.
Universal Credit is part of the Government's wider welfare reform plans. Universal Credit merges six working age benefits into a single household benefit in some areas, and as of 14th December 2016 this includes Hastings and St Leonards on Sea.
The Working Age Benefits replaced by Universal Credit are:
- Jobseekers Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance.
The Department for Work and Pensions have put together this short helpful video to explain Universal Credit.
More details regarding Universal Credit (and how to claim) can be found on the government's website.
Signing up to a My Hastings account lets you access at any time, day or night, a range of council services, including accessing details of your Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and Council Tax.
Council tax reduction
East Sussex Welfare Reform Service
Report possible fraud