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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Universal Credit Rolled Out to Holywood Road and Ballynahinch 5th September 2018.

Universal Credit is currently being rolled out across Northern Ireland, with a number of areas already under the scheme. It replaces Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Income Support, Income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit (with the exception of exempt accommodation types).  Anyone of working age who currently receives these benefits will be affected.

The next area to receive Universal Credit is Ballynahinch and the Holywood Road area of East Belfast. Any resident who wishes to claim any of the above benefits from 5th September onwards will now have to make a new online application for Universal Credit. They could then face a wait of 5 to 6 weeks before receiving their first payment; however, it is possible to request an advance payment.

Following the Ballynahinch and the Holywood Road area, Newtownards and Newtownabbey will follow, with Universal Credit introduced on 19th September. You can check the dates for Universal Credit roll out on the NI Direct website.

Training on Housing and Universal Credit

Housing Rights have a one day course in August to help you understand the changes and impact that Universal Credit will have on claimants in Northern Ireland. Universal Credit and Housing: Elements and Impact training is a 1 day course in 
Belfast on 22nd August 2018. More information can be found here. 

Get advice

Anyone who is worried about how Universal Credit might affect their housing situation should get advice.  Information can be found on our website: https://www.housingadviceni.org/welfare-reform/universal-credit-northern-ireland or if you require further information you can call our helpline on 028 90 245640 and pick option 3 to speak to an adviser.


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Legislation, Practical tips
This article was written on 15 August 2018. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.