In Scotland, if you make a new claim for Universal Credit after 4 October 2017, and you live in a ‘full service’ area, you will be offered some choices about how it is paid to you.
How Universal Credit is normally paid
Universal Credit is normally paid as a single monthly payment, which may include a ‘housing costs’ element – a contribution towards your rent or mortgage. You’re then responsible for paying your own rent or mortgage to your landlord or mortgage lender.
The choices for new claims in Scotland’s full service areas
In Scotland, if you make a new claim for Universal Credit on or after 4 October 2017 in a full service area, you will be offered two choices about how it is paid.
What is a full service area?
A full service area is an area where single people, couples and families can claim Universal Credit, and all claimants must make and manage their claims online.
Find out if you live in a full service area, and if you can claim Universal Credit, on the GOV.UK website
You can choose between:
- Being paid monthly, or
- Being paid twice a month.
You will also be offered a choice between:
- Having the housing costs element of Universal Credit paid to your bank account, or
- Having the housing costs element paid directly to your landlord.
You will only be offered these choices after you have received your first monthly payment of Universal Credit.
Making a choice through your online Universal Credit account
If you’re eligible, you will be offered these choices through your online Universal Credit account.
You can make one choice, both choices or you can choose not to make any changes.
If you don’t make any changes, your payments will continue to be made monthly, with the housing costs element paid into your bank account as part of your single monthly payment.
When the offer is made on your online account, you will have 60 days to decide what you want to do before the offer will no longer appear.
However, you can still ask to make changes to the way your Universal Credit is paid at any time. To do this, you can use your online journal to make the request.
And you can change your mind about the choices you have made at any time and ask to go back to single monthly payments with your housing costs element paid directly to you.
In some cases, the Department for Work and Pensions might continue to pay you differently. This only applies if your Universal Credit is being paid using an Alternative Payment Arrangement. You can ask your work coach if this applies to you.
Having trouble managing your online Universal Credit account?
If you’re having trouble with using your online Universal Credit account, you can ask your work coach to help you ask to change the way you are paid.
You can speak to them in person at your local Jobcentre or over the phone.
Call the Universal Credit helpline
You can also call the Universal Credit helpline on 0345 600 0723.
Lines are open between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday (closed on bank and public holidays).
Calls are free if you have free or inclusive minutes as part of your phone contract.
If you don’t, ask the adviser to call you back, as the call might cost you up to 40p per minute if you’re calling from a mobile and up to 9p a minute from a UK landline.
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