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Money Advice and Rights Team

Get ready for Universal Credit

Universal Credit will change the way DWP pay benefits. Read our advice to be ready for it.

Stay on top of your rent

Universal Credit (UC) will include a payment for housing costs but it will be no longer be paid direct to your landlord. When you apply for UC make sure you tick the box to claim help with housing costs.

It's your responsibility to pay your rent to your landlord and on time.

To help you do this you can:

  • set up a standing order
  • ask for a managed payment so your rent is paid direct to your landlord

Let us know if you need extra help with your rent

If UC housing costs doesn't cover all your rent, you might qualify for a discretionary housing payment.

Phone 0141 577 3002 for further information.

Remember to apply for a council tax reduction

UC doesn't include a payment for your council tax.

You need to apply separately to the Council for a council tax reduction

Help while you wait for your first payment

Your first UC payment can take around 5 weeks.

If you're going to have problems while waiting for your first payment, you can claim an advance.

You can claim up to 1 month's UC payment interest free. It takes 5 days to process. You have 12 months to pay back this loan and it's taken from your UC payments.

You can apply for this once you've submitted your UC claim by contacting Jobcentre Plus

You may also qualify Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grant. If you qualify for it, this is a grant you don't need to pay back.

Talk to us about rent arrears

Tell us as soon as possible if you think you might have rent arrears while you wait for your first UC payment.

The sooner you tell us the more chance we have to help you.

Phone the rent team on 0141 577 3714.

Make budget plan

word icon Download our budget planner [27kb]

Visit for more advice on budget plans

Open a credit union account

UC is only paid into a bank, building society or credit union account.

If you've had trouble opening a bank account, you can still apply for a credit union account.

Pioneer Mutual credit union offer a free money management account if you are a East Renfrewshire Council or Barrhead Housing and claim UC. DWP pays UC into the Pioneer Mutual Account. Your rent is deducted and paid to your landlord direct.

Contact Pioneer Mutual credit union

Get help to get online

You can only claim UC online at You also need an email address.

If you don't have access to the Internet or need help to make your claim, you can:

  • visit your nearest Jobcentre Plus
  • make an appointment with Money Advice and Rights Team (MART) or Citizens Advice
  • get online at your local library

pdf icon Find out more about digital support to get online [78kb]

Find out about digital help classes in East Renfrewshire libraries


Phone: 0141 577 8420

Related information

UK Government Universal Credit website

Money Advice Scotland



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