Benefits and grants for council tenants

Help to pay your rent

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit. You will only be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit in the situations listed below.

Otherwise you will have to claim Universal Credit to get help with your housing costs.

You can still apply for Housing Benefit only in one of the following situations

  • You are on Housing Benefit at present and you move home within the same local authority area and this is your only change in circumstance, or
  • You (or your partner) have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit, or
  • You were homeless and have been placed in temporary accommodation by the council.

In addition in order to qualify you

  • Need to be responsible for paying the rent on the home where you normally live, and
  • Your income is low enough, and
  • Your capital and savings must be under £16,000 (unless you get qualifying age for Pension Credit in which case there is no capital limit).

Find out more information and make a claim.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit aims to make the welfare system simpler by replacing six benefits and tax credits with a single monthly payment. It is managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

It replaces

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

As it's for people of working age, Universal Credit does not affect pensioners.

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information on Universal Credit.

How to claim Universal Credit

Universal Credit is intended to be claimed online and the DWP have made this YouTube video to help explain how to open an account online.

If you need support with making your claim, please see the Citizens Advice Scotland pages

When you claim Universal Credit online, you need to provide an address for your landlord. For City of Edinburgh Council tenants this is

City of Edinburgh Council

4 East Market Street

You will also need to verify your rent costs to claim housing costs as part of your Universal Credit. For help with this please contact your housing officer at your Locality Office

For more information on what you will need before you apply, please see the Citizen's Advice Bureau's page.

How will your Universal credit be paid

Universal Credit will be paid monthly into your bank account. This means you'll have to start managing your money across the whole month. You will find it useful to set up Direct Debits and standing orders for bills like your rent and utilities.

Your housing costs will be included in your monthly Universal Credit payment. It will be your responsibility to pay the full amount to us directly every month. For more information, please see the government's Housing Costs and Universal Credit page.

Changes in Circumstance

If you have any changes in your household or there is a rent increase you must log onto your UC journal and complete a change of circumstances with your new rent charge by signing in to your Universal Credit account.

Failure to do this will result in the incorrect level of housing costs being paid to you and possibility of rent arrears occurring or an overpayment being made to you which you will have to pay back to the DWP.

Elderly woman with her hands out with coins in it

Cost of living help

Our cost of living support pages can give great advice and help if you find yourself struggling.

Cost of living help