Direct payment of Universal Credit
The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has announced a change to the way landlords should apply for direct payment of their tenant’s Universal Credit (UC). Previously landlords were required to complete an application form with limited information, submit it by email to DWP and then supply more sensitive data such as their bank account details over the phone. From now on a new digital form will ask for all the information required and will be sent securely online to DWP for approval or rejection. This makes the process for requests a lot simpler which is something SAL has, for some time, been pushing for on behalf of members.
Direct payment to a landlord can be made when any of the following apply:
- a claimant is in arrears with their rent for an amount equal to, or more than, two months of their rent
- a claimant has continually underpaid their rent over a period of time, and they have accrued arrears of an amount equal to or more than one month’s rent
- any of the other Tier 1 and Tier 2 Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) factors apply
- where a claimant was previously in receipt of Housing Benefit and it was paid to their private landlord, a managed payment to landlord can be considered providing the claimant continues to meet the Tier 1 or Tier 2 APA factors. This is part of the conversation UC staff will have with the claimant at the start of the claim.
Landlords can request a direct payment online here.