Universal credit


2019/2020 53 week rent year

Please note that due to the way the financial calendar falls between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, there are 53 Mondays during this financial year and therefore 53 weeks.  This happens once every five or six years.

Universal Credit does not take this into account and calculates the housing cost element of your Universal Credit payment over 52 weeks, meaning that there is potential for a shortfall in the amount you are paid for housing.

As such, we are encouraging all tenants on Universal Credit to pay a little extra if they can in order to cover the shortfall.

What is it?

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work. It replaces some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now, including:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

If you are claiming this benefit, your rent will be referred to as the 'Housing Element' and included in your Universal Credit payment.

You still need to pay the full amount of rent to us even if you only receive part of your 'Housing Element' in your Universal Credit payment.


How will I receive my payment?

Universal Credit is digital and to receive payments you’ll need a bank account which can make and receive automatic payments. 

You will need access to the internet to make and manage your claim. If you or someone you know is struggling to complete an application because you need help with digital skills, please speak to your work coach as help is available. 

If you need free access to a PC, click here to find an online centre near you. 


Is it for you? Apply here

For more details on eligibility and how to claim visit: Governments Universal Credit page or view the Universal Credit Guide.

Let us know if you have made a claim for Universal Credit and need help or advice with managing your money or getting back in to work by using our change of circumstances form

Click on the link above to find out more about Universal Credit's online services.


Banking and loans

If you don’t already have a bank account, Great Places works with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to help residents set up current accounts.

You'll need to take proof of your identity and a copy of your tenancy agreement to your local Bank of Scotland branch to get set up. 

Need a loan? Credit Unions can be a good source of affordable and local lending. They also offer current accounts. You can usually apply for these, even if you have had money problems in the past. Find a local Credit Union in your area.

Council tax reduction support is NOT included in Universal Credit. 

If you receive council tax reduction support or think you might eligible, contact your local council for more details. Click here to find your local council.