Essential system maintenance

Due to essential maintenance, our repairs system will be unavailable after 4pm on Thursday 19th July and all day Friday 20th July. Please report all non-emergency repairs via the Derwent Living App or use the website's report a repair form. Any emergency repairs should be telephoned through as usual. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Universal Credit

universal credit logoUniversal Credit is the biggest change in a generation to how benefit claimants receive payments. It is designed to replace a number of existing benefits with a single payment which goes directly into claimants’ bank accounts. Previously Housing Benefit, one of the types of benefit that will be included in Universal Credit, was paid directly to Derwent Living.

Who will be affected?

Universal Credit is now happening in every area of the UK if you are a single person making a new benefit claim.

Roll out of the full digital service to all job centres is continuing for couples and families who have 2 children or fewer . The full digital service will be available in all job centre areas by December 2018. Please note, when your job centre area goes to full service you will have to claim Universal Credit when you have to make a new claim or have a change in circumstances.

The Department of Work and Pensions will start moving over all other benefit claimants to the full service from July 2019 with a view to completion by March 2023.

You can use this handy post code checker to find out if you can make a claim now in the area you live:

You can also use these benefit calculators to see what you might be entitled to.

Which benefits will change?

First you need to be aware that there are six, means-tested types of benefits that this affects:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit.

It will also replace budgeting loans and crisis loans.  Generally speaking, any other type of benefit you might be receiving should remain unaffected.

Calculator and bank notes

How do I make a claim?

Claiming for Universal Credit can only be done online at, so you will need to be able to access a computer. If you don’t have a computer in your home you will be able to access one by going to your local library, Jobcentre Plus or by visiting your local council offices.

To put in a claim you will need lots of information about yourself and your tenancy. This includes information about:

  • Your partner, any dependents and other people living in your home.
  • Your income and any savings you might have.
  • Your landlord or mortgage provider.
  • Your rent or mortgage charges and any service charges.

There will usually be at least five week delay between making your claim and receiving your first Universal Credit payment.

If you won’t have enough money to live on while you wait for your first payment, call the helpline to ask for an advance payment. You’ll repay it through your regular Universal Credit payments – they’ll be lower until you pay it back.

Remember: when you are asked “Do you pay rent for the home where you live?” you MUST answer “Yes”, if your rent is currently covered by Housing Benefit. If you fail to do so, your claim will NOT include a rent element and any subsequent appeal may not necessarily mean that the rent element is backdated to the date of your initial claim.

To finish your application for Universal Credit you will need to attend an interview at the Job Centre. More details about this interview process are available from the link below.

And don’t forget to check out this useful video from GOV.UK, which tells you how to make a claim for Universal Credit.

How will I be paid?

Payments will be made once a month, into your bank or building society. This means that if your rent was previously paid directly to us, it will now be paid into your bank account and arrangements need to be made to pay that rent to us.

You’ll need to arrange a direct debit payment, set up to come out of your bank account the same day that you receive your Universal Credit payments.

You will be required to pay the entire rent amount due to Derwent Living. If you are not sure how much this is, please contact our team on 01332 346477 – we can advise how much you will owe us each month and set the direct debit up over the phone.

Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears directly into your bank or building society account, so you should budget for your money to last the whole month.

What’s next?

If you are concerned about how Universal Credit will affect you, please contact our Income Team on 01332 614900. We can discuss your situation in confidence and help you prepare for how universal credit will impact you and your rent payments.

For everything you need to know about Universal Credit, please visit

Don’t risk your home

Once Universal Credit comes in, your rent will no longer be paid directly to us via Housing Benefit and you will be responsible for prioritising your rent from the single payment. Your home is at risk if you do not ensure your rent is paid on time.

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