Universal Credit (UC), administered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), is a key element in this Government’s welfare benefits regime. It merges six working age benefits into a single household benefit claimable both by low paid workers and the unemployed.

The types of benefit replaced by UC were:
Jobseekers Allowance
Housing Benefit
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
Income Support
Employment and Support Allowance.

Since December 2016, if you live within the borough of Hastings and are of working age (generally 18 or over, though in some circumstances 16- or 17-year-olds may become eligible) you will not have been able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit. Instead, if you require help to pay rent/housing costs, you have to make an online claim for UC. Furthermore, if you are of working age and already receiving Housing Benefit, it may be replaced by UC if your circumstances change.

Free online facilities to make the claim can be accessed at the Job Centre in London Road, Hastings Works in Robertson Street, Hastings Town Hall, and a number of libraries and community centres.

If you are of pensionable age, however, you will not be affected by the DWP’s UC roll out. Even if you become entitled to make a new claim for Housing Benefit, the application is made to Hastings Borough Council and not to the DWP.

Statistics gathered by East Sussex County Council indicate that in September this year there were 6,054 claimants for UC within the borough of Hastings.

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