Help and advice
We have a dedicated Financial Inclusion Team at Plymouth Community Homes who can give you really good money advice
We can provide you with information and support on Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, the Benefit Cap, Tenancy Fraud and Bedroom Tax.
Cost of living support
There are many local and national companies providing hardship grants to support with the cost of utilities
- Debt Advice Foundation
- National Debtline
- Money Wellness
- StepChange Debt Charity
- Money Adviser Network
If you are currently in receipt of Housing Benefit, you can continue to receive this for help towards your rent if there are no changes in your circumstances that mean you would have to apply for Universal Credit.
If you do not currently receive Housing Benefit, unless you are of pension credit age, you cannot make a new claim for Housing Benefit and need to claim Universal Credit instead.
You can do your own benefit check at entitled to.
Universal Credit is for people of working age, designed to top up your income to a minimum level and help you with your housing costs (rent and some service charges). It is for people on a low to moderate income. It does not matter whether you are working or not, or the reason why you are not working.
Universal Credit replaces these benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit does not include help with your Council Tax. You must claim Council Tax Support separately from Plymouth City Council.
Universal Credit is paid in one lump sum and on a monthly basis, and includes help to pay your rent. This help isn’t paid separately, like Housing Benefit. The Universal Credit is paid straight to you, so you have to pay your rent out of this money.
Most people will get the same amount of money as they would have under the benefits listed above – it just looks like more because of the benefits all being paid together, including help with rent, and is paid monthly, all at once.
It is important to budget when getting Universal Credit payments. As they are paid monthly in arrears, you will need to keep enough money back to make sure you pay your monthly rent, other household bills and living expenses.
Visit the Government website for the latest information on Universal Credit.
The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of certain benefits you can get if you are of working age.
It will only affect you if you’re getting housing benefit or Universal Credit. If the cap affects you, your housing benefit or Universal Credit is reduced.
Visit the Government website for the latest information on the benefit cap including amounts and benefits included.
If you live in any council or housing association property and have one or more spare bedrooms that are now in use, your housing benefit or universal credit may be reduced.
You can calculate if you are affected by the bedroom tax by using a bedroom tax calculator.
Tenancy fraud can take place when someone gives false information or statements to apply for a home. That could mean that they are offered a home which should have gone to someone in greater need.
Fraud can happen during the tenancy, too, where a tenant sublets their home to someone else, allowing them to queue jump the waiting list and potentially make extra money illegally.
It may also be tenancy fraud if a PCH tenant is not using their tenancy as their main or principle home - this could include where a property has been abandoned.