High number of enquiries
We have been receiving a high number of enquiries about the various government grants during COVID and with the increased cost of living. Because of this it is taking us longer than we would like to process claims and reply to emails. We are working hard to respond to all calls and emails within 12 weeks.
Important Changes from 14th December 2016
On 14th December 2016 the Department for Work and Pensions' Universal Credit scheme was expanded in Hastings and St Leonards. Please read the details below very carefully as this change may affect you.
Universal Credit changes
Universal Credit is part of the Government's wider welfare reform plans. Universal Credit merges six working age benefits into a single household benefit.
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 can be found on the Understanding Universal Credit website.
This briefing from the Benefits and Debt advice project provides further information on the key features of Universal Credit and where to obtain advice and support.
Housing Benefit changes for people of working age
1. From 14th December 2016 if you are of working age and live in Hastings or St Leonards, you will 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.
You can find out if you are eligible for Universal Credit on the Understanding Universal Credit website's eligibility page.
You can apply for Universal Credit on the government's website.
This document shows a list and map of places for online availability in Hastings and St Leonards if you require internet access for a benefit claim.