If you’re receiving benefits, moving house can be a very daunting task. Moving house comes with a lot of added costs and it can be worrying when you know your benefits won’t stretch to cover it. You may be able to receive financial support from your local council or Citizens Advice.
Discretionary Housing Payment
You can receive a discretionary housing payment if you receive housing benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit. The payment is paid by your local authority.
You can receive this payment for a number of different reasons, such as if your housing allowance is lower than the cost of your rent in a privately rented property, if your housing benefit has been reduced because you are working and it has been decided that you have a spare bedroom in social rented property, if your housing benefit has been reduced due to the benefit cap or if your housing benefit is reduced because of non-dependant deductions/housing cost contributions.
You can also receive this payment if you need it for any one-off payments like a rent deposit or rent advance or any removal costs to help you move into your new home.
You cannot use the payment to cover an increase in rent due to arrears or if you need to make up the difference of an overpayment is being recovered from your housing benefit. It also can not be used to cover certain sanctions/reductions in your benefits.
To find out more about this payment or to find out if you’re eligible to receive it, you need to speak to your local council who will be able to organise for you to receive this payment to help with your moving costs.
Talk to Your Local Council
If you’re in need of something essential for your new home, it is a good idea to speak to your local council. They may be able to help you source some second-hand furniture, an oven or fridge or another essential appliance that you need for your new home. This is known as welfare assistance.
This loan can be used for essential items such as clothing or a washing machine. You may be able to receive one of these loans if you receive: Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit. The loan is interest-free, the loan usually needs to be paid back within two years. You cannot receive a budgeting loan if you receive Universal Credit. This loan is paid to you by the Government.