Torus services: We are continue to experience a high demand for repairs, resulting in longer waiting times for non-emergency repairs.  We are working hard to fix this, apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Duplicate Rents issue (17 May): Post Office, PayPoint & online secure Internet rent payers - we are here to help if you are struggling find out more here

Homes for Ukraine Scheme: Information for Torus customers considering offering a room in your home to a Ukrainian refugee – more.

 
 
 

Benefits and Money Advice

What is Universal Credit?

Click here for updates on how COVID-19 has impacted Universal Credit.

Universal Credit (UC) welfare benefit, replaced several existing benefits including Housing Benefit. UC affects people who are both in and out of work, and of working age.

UC can be claimed if you’re out of work or if you’re working and living on a low income.

Although you may not be claiming benefits at the moment, you or a member of your household may have a change in circumstances.

 

How to claim Universal Credit

UC claims need to be made online via www.gov.uk/universal-credit which can be completed via Job Centre Plus or at home, using a PC, tablet or smartphone.

Claims for Universal Credit must be made online and all in one go. You can’t save changes and come back to it later.

Once you’ve made your online application, you’ll be asked to an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus.

Apply for Universal Credit.

If you’re struggling to make an online claim, contact the UC Helpline on 0800 328 5644 available Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm.

Torus Foundation Financial Inclusion Team can support you with benefit / grant applications. Call them on 0300 123 5809, email info@torusfoundation.org.uk or use the online form.

To make a claim, you will need:

  • An email address
  • A bank, building society or credit union account
  • You will need to know your weekly rent charge (including service charges if applicable)
  • Your income details and for those living with you (including benefits)
  • Your National Insurance (NI) number and the NI for each family member who are part of the claim

What happens once you’ve made the claim?

  • You will receive a Job Centre appointment to verify your claim - remember to take photo ID (a passport or driving licence), your tenancy agreement and an up to date rent statement.
  • Go online to make an appointment with your Work Coach to agree and sign your ‘Claimant Commitment’. Remember to keep your search for work and journal up to date and regularly check your online ‘to do list’ to see if the DWP has sent you actions regarding your claim.
  • Failing to comply with these UC requirements may affect payments towards your housing costs.
  • If you do not pay your rent to us it could result in action being taken to recover the tenancy.

Is there any financial help while waiting for my claim?

  • You won’t be entitled to any money until the 8th day after you make your claim.
  • You will not receive any payment until 6 weeks after your claim because Universal Credit is paid in arrears.
  • If this will cause rent arrears or hardship you can apply for a Universal Credit Advance Payment. The maximum advance you can get is 50% of your estimated monthly payment. You must pay this back through deductions from your future monthly payments. You can apply for an UC Advance Payment during your interview with the work coach. This advance payment is interest free and you will have 12 months to pay this back, but please note that your UC payments will be reduced during that time to cover the repayments of the advance payment. 

If you have any concerns about your rent during this time, please speak to your Rent Officer:

If you find it hard to budget on a monthly income or fall into rent arrears, you can ask for your housing costs to be paid directly to us.
 

Help towards your rent

Universal Credit provides a single payment each month into your bank account. The payment can include a ‘housing costs’ (rent) element if you:

  • Are not in paid work or have a low income

If you live in a shared ownership property, housing costs could help with both your rent and mortgage interest.

 

Important information

You won’t be entitled to any money until the 8th day after you make your claim.

You will not receive any payment until 6 weeks after your claim because Universal Credit is paid in arrears.

If this will cause rent arrears or hardship you can apply for a Universal Credit Advance. The maximum advance you can get is 50% of your estimated monthly payment. You must pay this back through deductions from your future monthly payments.

If you find it hard to budget on a monthly income or fall into rent arrears, you can ask for your housing costs to be paid directly to us.

 

Housing costs for 18 to 21 year olds

You may not be able to get help to pay your rent if you are under 22 and make a new claim for Universal Credit in a full digital service area.

You will not be affected by this rule if:

  • You already get Universal Credit housing costs or housing benefit
  • Claim Universal Credit in a Live Service area
  • Work 16 or more hours per week

If you do make a new claim in a Full Service area you can get help to pay rent if:

  • You claim as a couple
  • Have a dependent child
  • Were in care when you were 16 or 17
  • Get the daily living component of PIP or middle or high care component of DLA
  • You may also get rent help if you’re unable to live with either of your parents because you’re at risk of harm.

 

Support Available

The Torus Foundation Financial Inclusion Team can support you with benefit / grant applications and your online claim by assisting with:

  • Free IT training and access to the Internet, including setting up an email address
  • Advice on setting up a bank, building society or credit union account
  • Employment training and support
  • Signpost to services for budgeting, debt, energy & utility debt and benefit advice

Call them on 0300 123 5809, email info@torusfoundation.org.uk or use the online form.

 

Universal Credit Payments

The Monthly Assessment Period will commence one month from the date the claim is made*.

*Based on advice from the Government

Remember to pay your rent as soon as your first UC payment is received.
 

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