Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Government Tries to Solve Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance) Universal Credit Disaster.

Looks Complicated and is…

The latest in a long run of stories about Universal Credit:

Edinburgh families forced to wait five weeks to receive Universal Credit

FAMILIES face being left without cash over Christmas when Universal Credit starts being rolled out in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

Claimants will be forced to wait five weeks before they receive the new benefit, meaning first payments will not be made until January.

The shake-up is expected to mean more people relying on foodbanks and also lead to a rise in rent arrears.

Green councillor Susan Rae said: “The immediate impact is debt because the gap people have to wait for payment will throw people into rent arrears.

What is the background to this problem?

The DWP says,

You could get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent if you’re on a low income.

Use a benefits calculator to check if you can get Housing Benefit before you apply. You may need to claim Universal Credit instead.

Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.

You can apply for Housing Benefit whether you’re unemployed or working.


The housing element of Universal Credit

When people are moved onto Universal Credit, the single payment for their household will include a ‘housing element’. This will replace the help they currently get from Housing Benefit.

Universal Credit – including the housing element – is paid monthly in arrears.

Direct payment of rent – what is it and when is it coming in?

If you’re a registered social landlord and you receive your tenants’ rent directly from your local council, this will change under Universal Credit. Instead, tenants will receive their ’housing element’ direct and be responsible for paying it to you themselves.

Before the new system comes in, some tenants who are not yet claiming Universal Credit might be selected to start receiving their Housing Benefit payment direct.

The Department for Work and Pensions has committed to consult with social landlords before deciding whether to move their tenants onto direct payments. They will take into account any information you provide about your tenants’ ability to manage with direct payments.

If your tenant can’t manage their rent payments

A tenant can ask to have their housing payments switched to the landlord for a period of time while they get the support they need to get their money under control.

If a tenant has rent arrears, then, as their landlord, you can ask for the rent payments to be temporarily switched to you.

When Amber Rudd became the latest in a long list of DWP Ministers she said (Sky 23rd of November).

The new work and pensions secretary also said she was going to review the five-week wait time for new claimants to receive their benefits; payment systems for the housing element of Universal Credit; access to cash and the repayment of upfront loans.

She said: “We need to give [claimants] more confidence in the fact that they can access cash immediately.

“You know people are nervous about moving from legacy benefits to Universal Credit because they cannot afford quite often to be without cash for a few days, a week, two weeks, three weeks.

“I have to make sure that they can have confidence in access in earlier.”

It does not take a genius to work out that with money in your hand, when you have little, it is tempting to spend on other things than rent.

But there are other problems:

If you live in a private sector property, it may not cover your full rent as it will take account of where you live and, if you are under age 35, whether you are expected to share accommodation.

If you live in a council or housing association property you will be asked about the number of bedrooms you have to compare with how many you are thought to need, to see if you are under occupying the property.

And there is a cap on the rent anybody can get.

Which seems reasonable but with rents in some cities…

So you can be out of pocket in the first place.

So, this is the Government’s latest attempt to solve some of these multiple problems by patching up relations with the (better) landlords.

Inside Housing today reports:

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be promoting its Universal Credit landlord portal with a six-week social media campaign, starting today.

The portal allows social landlords to ‘verify’ claimants’ rent, which makes it easier for claimants to set up a claim for the housing elements of the benefit payment swiftly.

It also allows landlords to make a request for tenants to be switched back onto the direct payments arrangement, where the rental payments are paid directly to them rather than to the tenant.

This is the case for legacy housing benefit, but is a key reform introduced by the Universal Credit system.

There are currently 538 registered landlords from the social rented sector using the portal.

Justin Tomlinson, minister for family support, housing and child maintenance, said: “The landlord campaign aims to increase awareness of the ways landlords can support Universal Credit, and receive their payments in time. It’s fantastic we’ve signed up 538 registered landlords from the social rented sector already – the feedback we’ve had so far has been overwhelmingly positive.”

“The campaign is spearheaded by partners in the sector and features real life case studies from landlords who explain in their own words their experience of working with the Department of Work and Pensions to support tenants who are claiming Universal Credit.”

A spokesperson for housing association Riverside said: “The landlord portal allows us to verify tenants’ rent and offer support to them early in the Universal Credit process.”

When social landlords enrol with the landlord portal they are invited to accept ‘Trusted Partner status’, allowing them to apply for alternative payment arrangements such as managed payments.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 26, 2018 at 5:34 pm

51 Responses

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  1. What is daft is that tenants on universal credit can’t request that their rent is paid directly to their landlord. To get the housing element of universal credit paid directly to a landlord, as with housing benefit, the landlord him/herself has to make an application to the DWP directly rather than the tenant! By the sound of things as with everything to do with universal credit landlord’s are saying that they are having terrible difficulty doing this in practice.

    Universal credit has turned out to be so bad that it, rather than Brexit or anything else, might finish the Tories.


    November 26, 2018 at 5:43 pm

  2. UK poverty reaches shocking levels: UN report


    November 26, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    • Is this the same Tehran-backed Iranian-run ‘Press’ TV? The same Press TV that is banned from broadcasting in the UK? The same Press TV that was kicked off the Astra satellite? The same Press TV that George Galloway has a show on?

      Joola - Iranian Dissident

      November 27, 2018 at 7:57 am

    • I!!!!

      Joola - Iranian Dissident

      November 27, 2018 at 8:14 am

    • UK transmission specialists Arqiva and satellite operator Eutelsat have been accused of “illegally” banning carriage of Iran’s Press TV. “The Isl@@amic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has contracts going back 20 years with Eutelsat, which were renewed for five- or 10-year periods,” IRIB vice president Moha@@mmed Sarafraz was quoted as saying, and he accused Eutelsat that the banning of Press TV and 18 other IRIB channels as being “without legal justification”.

      Last month, when similar complaints were made by Iran, Eutelsat’s response was that “This decision was based on reinforced EU Council sanctions and a confirmation by France’s broadcasting authority that the Sahar 1 TV channel that broadcast in IRIB’s multiplex of television and radio services should be permanently switched off. IRIB has been informed of the termination of its contract.”

      Eutelsat is far from alone in banning the channels. Similar bans are in place with SES (Astra), Asiasat, Intelsat and others.



      November 29, 2018 at 6:23 am

    • Iranian channel Press TV will disappear from British television screens after the British media regulator revoked its license.

      The Iranian state-owned news channel’s English-language service will be removed from Sky TV’s satellite platform in Britain later on January 20 as a result of the decision.

      Press TV said on its website the move was “a clear example of censorship.”

      Media regulator Ofcom said editorial control of Press TV was exercised from Tehran rather than London and that the broadcaster had failed to amend its license accordingly.

      It also said that Press TV had not paid a $154,700 fine imposed after the channel aired an interview with an imprisoned “Newsweek” journalist (Maziar Bahari) that had been conducted under constraint.



      November 29, 2018 at 6:30 am

  3. Reblogged this on michaelsnaith.


    November 26, 2018 at 7:17 pm

  4. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating!.


    November 27, 2018 at 9:25 am

  5. Andrew Coates

    November 27, 2018 at 11:51 am

  6. This portal is for social landlords, hardly helpful of those who rent privately because there isn’t enough social housing. To be effective to encourage more private landlords so we can sort homelessness, this portal must be opened up to all landlords.

    A simpler option that unanimously has the support of all landlords and claimants is to make housing benefit go directly to landlords full stop.
    Causing arrears for councils,social housing providers and private landlords forces them to have to take and or extend loans/mortgages which is an extra cost for them while central government gets a cut of the extra profit from the businesses giving the loans/extensions. Basically the landlord makes it mostly a deductible meaning its a dodgy prompt by central government to produce an unnecessary loan that produces APR.

    They talk live within your means yet here is an example of perverting a system to gain profit for revenue which is deplorably wrong morally.
    This is how you know that once we leave the EU that this very government intends to make us a financial tax wonderland let alone haven and mate rates for foreign businesses wanting to do business in the UK. They dont want this country to strive independently like it once did, they want a westernized sweatshop operation that will deflate wages/value of wages over time because they know we have nothing the world really needs and cant produce for themselves so puts us at a massive disadvantage.


    November 27, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    • It seems like an over-excitable Brexiteer loon has begun running wild on this blog. (Probably a kipper.) Please delete his/her irrelevant comments, none of which have anything to do with universal credit, and bizarrely instantaneous replies to same posted by the same nutcase. I than’ you.


      November 27, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      • I have been deleting them.

        I am interested in Doug’s point.

        The direct payment of rent demand should be one that is made public everywhere we can.

        Andrew Coates

        November 27, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      • Brexit, whatever has everything to do with universal credit. Universal credit is intended to lower living standards in the UK. Are you going to argue with that, Jim? Well, are you? But at the same time living standards in other countries will be going up. At some point we will reach a stable equilibrium. But in order to achieve this we firstly need to free up the movement of capital and labour (people). At the beginning capital and labour will move decisively in one direction.. We (in the West) will feel pain, but we will ‘adjust’. After all, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, collateral damage and all that. Eventually the movement of capital and labour will reach a steady-state. We will have transitioned to a global, uniform ‘open society’. This is the Utopian Dream… or Nightmare.

        Universal Runner

        November 27, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      • Jim, what do you think would be the consequences if we opened our borders? It would be very interesting to find out. But as an ‘experiment’ it would be impossible to turn back the clock if it didn’t work out.

        Open Borders

        November 27, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      • Every single model that I have seen predicts that Britain will be poorer after leaving the EU, even allowing for new trade deals with other countries independent of the EU. Now for the last eight years the poorest people claiming benefits in the country have suffered most from cap, cuts, freezes and changes like universal credit as the government tries to cut the deficit by reducing spending on welfare and driving more people off benefits into work. So what do you think is coming when Britain is again forced to borrow more money, raising the deficit and national debt of the nation, when the country loses billions and billions after exiting the EU and the government tries to cut, cap, freeze, reform and save money in every way imaginable in order to try to balance the books? If you thing the last eight years of austerity have been hard on benefit claimants, poor, sick and vulnerable you ain’t seen nothing yet! Prepare to see Victorian levels of hardship, homelessness spread like cancer amongst those most dependent on and in most need of help from a shrinking state.

        You anti-EU cheerleaders have no idea how bad things look set to get, you really really don’t.


        November 27, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      • Most of the UK looks like it is being asset-stripped like some private equity firm has taken over. Get outside of Ipswich and take a look around. All the investment in infrastructure is taking place in London and the South East. We are all paying huge taxes and seeing nothing for it. The Pope was right when he said that landing in the UK was like landing in a turd world country. Our cities and even towns now are strewn with so-called homeless (the genuine ones can’t get a ‘pitch’) bogus beggars, alcoholics and drug addicts. How bad is it when your young child is almost stabbed by a discarded drug addict’s needle in the High Street. It is disgusting! It is an outrage! The UK is being run down on purpose. And those responsible will retire to the villas in the Algarve and Tuscany while the poor, and the children of the poor who haven’t the money or the means to escape shithole will be left to rot in this crime-ridden cesspit. The Leave vote was a message to the political scum of all colours. It is also why the Americans voted for Trump. People and sick and tired of being played for fools. No matter how Brexit goes or doesn’t go the poor will get screwed regardless.

        Life in a Northern Town

        November 27, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      • Trump is slashing welfare left, right and centre and hoping to do the same to medicare. Poor Americans who voted for Trump were like turkeys voting for Christmas.


        November 28, 2018 at 8:01 am

      • Open Borders – a film by Feorge Horos

        UK 20xx: The UK’s borders have been flung open. Overnight billions of ‘newcomers’ arrive. They are exclusively from the Middle East and Africa. Transport connections grind to a halt. The benefit bill soars.
        Social housing implodes. There are food shortages. The indigenous population are forced from their own homes and killed. Nobody works any more. The welfare state collapses. The remaining members of the indigenous population who have evaded slaughter are ‘bugging out’ in the woods. The infrastructure collapses. Telecoms go down. The internet is turned off. The lights go out. The ‘newcomers’ then turn on each other. They become cannibals. Eventually there is no one left to eat. The UK is a desolate empty wasteland.

        Open Borders - a film by Feorge Horos

        November 28, 2018 at 8:49 am

      • As things worsen in this country after Brexit fewer and fewer people are going to want to settle here and shitty poorly rewarded back breaking work done formerly by immigrants will have to be done by natives, whether they want to do poor quality low-paid work or not. The UK will have many fewer human rights, worker’s rights, and skeletal social security. Rather like one of America’s poorer and less prosperous states in fact. Enjoy!


        November 28, 2018 at 9:44 am

      • Maybe that is why both the far-left and far-right want us out of Europe. They know that it will cause so much misery and strife that they hope to seize power as a result. Even Stalin knew that you couldn’t foment revolution if the populace’s bellies were full. Think you might be on the something Jim,,, er,,, Jemina.


        November 28, 2018 at 10:46 am

      • The ones that are hell-bent on frustrating Brexit all seem to have their own agenda. Look at that nippy
        Scotchwoman for example, whatever her name is, it is obvious what her agenda is. In fact, they have all got a (hidden) agenda. They all want money, power and to lord over us slaves.

        Animal Farm

        November 28, 2018 at 10:52 am

      • Universal Runner

        UC is a take on Clinton’s welfare reform back in the 90s and was finalized by IDS think between 2001 to 2005. Testing work capability roots also started back in 90s when under Major by one Maximus who had high ranked employees later go onto join ATOS.
        Its all Americanized business ideology as is a host of other things brought in by both new labour and now the Tories over the years. It appears the depression 2007/8 was the catalyst to press it into action when the voters and country was at its weakest.
        UC fits current business models as in only supporting just enough to follow the trend of businesses while maintaining a level of debt indenture now assetizing is now really no option for the many as personal debt soars in level.


        November 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm

  7. Women launch legal challenge to ‘irrational’ universal credit system

    Four women have launched a high court legal challenge to universal credit, arguing that an arbitrary design flaw in the payment system for the new benefit is “irrational and discriminatory” and leaves some families hundreds of pounds a year worse off.



    November 27, 2018 at 12:50 pm

  8. Universal Credit Set To Make Foodbank Usage Reach Record Levels This Christmas
    “Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy.”



    November 27, 2018 at 12:57 pm

  9. Benefits changes ‘pushing Aberdonians to the point of despair’

    Around 20 people are coming to the organisation for help every day, with increasing numbers experiencing issues specifically with benefits and Universal Credit.



    November 27, 2018 at 1:00 pm

  10. No need. When Britain tries to become an ultra-low tax minimal human and worker’s rights country and social security gets time limited (like America) and slashed to the bone (like America) because the UK ends up very much worse off economically isolated and alone outside the EU, no matter how it leaves, benefit claimants will end up culled by their poverty or drafted by the state onto permanent workfare schemes to make them pay their way and so won’t be a problem to anyone.


    We brought this future on ourselves and fully deserve what’s coming.


    November 27, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    • It is hard to tell, Jim and Jemima, especially these days and more so with Brexit. Both the far-left Socialist Worker’s Party and far right ‘Tommy Robinson’ are campaigning for a hard Brexit. Both want to leave us economically isolated and alone outside the EU. Make of that what you will.

      Rupert & Penelope

      November 27, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      • The real question is: Which group of people will be most disadvantaged and put upon when the nation becomes significantly poorer because of Brexit? Here’s a clue in a question: Which group of people have been worse affected by austerity since 2010 because of severe caps, cuts, freezes and reforms made to Britain’s social security system to reduce government spending and borrowing?


        November 27, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    • The DWP is in court for the sixth time in a year

      The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is in court for a second time in six months over Universal Credit. But that’s not all – as this is the sixth court case against it in a year.



      November 27, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      • Universal Credit: Single mums take government to court


        November 27, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      • jj joop

        November 27, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      • jj joop

        November 27, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      • universal credit coaches have a great pile of job search forms on their desk. just the same as the jsa ones.


        November 27, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      • u know like u fill in wif wot u have done 2 look 4 work…


        November 27, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      • @jj i know seen other foi long ago does not matter if on jsa or uc they cant dictate how you produce ur work search as it is ur personnel data and can be provided anyway you like.

        not that they wont try it on with everyone anyway you just have to stand up for ur rights and tell them no.

        yet when i was on extended sick leave and signed on buy phone all they asked was did i do as job search said yes n that was that.

        only lasted 2 calls and had to ring them after that as no one bothered to ring me pmsl.

        and yes i gave them a phone number it was for the phone box at the top of the road 😉


        November 27, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      • DSC_0030_02

        thats a sar request and a page from it with my personnel data note what it says at the bottom of the page 😉

        they need my permission full stop it is my data im not required buy law to have a phone number or email address to claim any benefits nor do i have to bend over and provide proof of anything they dictate i provide it in a format that they want either like the journal online.

        if they dont like my job search they can sanction me and ill take it up with the courts and tribunal service 😉


        November 27, 2018 at 11:35 pm

      • @superted

        Yeah, they’ll keep trying it on.

        jj joop

        November 28, 2018 at 7:29 am

  11. ZQg/co

    Click to continue.......

    November 27, 2018 at 9:05 pm

  12. g


    November 27, 2018 at 9:07 pm

  13. Does anybody really think that life for benefit claimants in the UK outside of the EU will be better?


    November 28, 2018 at 8:04 am

  14. Andrew Coates

    November 28, 2018 at 12:24 pm

  15. Mum trapped in universal credit misery concludes: “It’s cheaper to be dead.”

    Family left without food, heating or electricity for over a week



    November 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm

  16. Universal Credit deemed “dehumanising” by Tower Hamlets councillors

    The benefits initiative was attacked by the council, who argued it reinforced the “Victorian concept of the undeserving poor”.


    Universal credit rollout sees almost 50 percent of claimants paid incorrectly, survey reveals

    The study carried out on behalf of London mayor, Sadiq Khan, and Tower Hamlets Council revealed that 46 per cent of 100 claimants surveyed weren’t paid correctly when their benefits switched to universal credit (UC).


    Its hard to see how Amber Rudd can justify this and her position should be closely looked at.It should be called Universal Shred it.The Tories are Britain’s shame.


    November 28, 2018 at 3:47 pm

  17. I cannot say how much this irked me:

    Amber Rudd reveals her feminist role model is Buffy the Vampire Slayer as she urges more women to get involved in politics.


    Buffy and the Scooby Gang are deeply loved by people fighting Universal Credit and progressive humanity all over the Planet.

    Andrew Coates

    November 28, 2018 at 5:42 pm

  18. Reached that time again where I have to attend another dwp health meeting so they can force me off ESA. Just in time to starve me over xmas.

    Does anyone have a link to a guide that details how you apply for an advance for that 5\6 week waiting period? I believe the rules are different is you are transferring from one benefit to another.



    November 28, 2018 at 11:25 pm

  19. News just in…

    Far-right party says UN pact will legalise mass migration and criminalise criticism of migration, ENF group warns

    Far-right MEP Marcel de Graaff, Co-President of the fascist ENF and leader of the fascist Party for Freedom in the European Parliament, held a press conference regarding the UN Migration Compact of Marrakesh.

    In his speech the fascist de Graaff warns for the UN’s plans with the compact as it will make criticising migration a criminal offence and will lead to legalising mass migration.

    The far-right Europe of Nations and Freedom co-President calls it “a coup d’etat of pro-migration liberal globalists, which will greatly benefit multinationals”

    This is fantastic news because if/when the UK ever leaves the EU we won’t give up the benefits of mass migration 😉

    Roberta Mugabe

    November 29, 2018 at 5:58 am

  20. The Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration takes place in Marrakech, Morocco on the 10th and 11th of December, 2018.


    #ForMigration 😉

    Roberta Mugabe

    November 29, 2018 at 6:06 am

  21. Well. Whatever happens, no matter how Britain leaves the EU the future for a majority of readers of this blog looks like one of eternal austerity. Good night and good luck.


    November 29, 2018 at 7:17 am

    • Nobody is arguing with you, Jemima. The living standards of the majority of the readers of this blog are being pulled down to the level of a turd world country. All the pieces of the jigsaw are coming together. Why are we so stupid? Why do we never learn? Why does history keep repeating itself?


      November 29, 2018 at 9:01 am

  22. the future for a majority of readers of this blog looks like one of eternal austerity.

    I think most people here have an understanding and a heart something the Tories simply don’t.

    The system is broken by people who have simply failed Britain with no long term thought for the live for today lifestyles, politics that played for the vote rather then common sense while underlying problems on the horizon were ignored and continued to build.

    South Tyneside’s £800,000 arrears pressure from Universal Credit tenants

    Read more at: https://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/south-tyneside-s-800-000-arrears-pressure-from-universal-credit-tenants-1-9468705

    Universal credit is ‘broken’, says report highlighting alarming rent arrears


    Its hard to see any of this simply going away,


    November 29, 2018 at 4:06 pm

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