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Temporary & Supported Accommodation

When housing costs cannot be covered by Universal Credit

If you live in an exempt accommodation (usually temporary or supported housing) you cannot receive housing cost help from Universal Credit (UC) and would need to apply for Housing Benefit from your local council authority instead. 

Temporary accommodation

For UC purposes temporary accommodation refers only to accommodation provided by a Local Authority or social sector housing and only in cases where a local authority is meeting its duty to homeless persons in accordance with the Housing Act.

If you are placed in homeless accommodation then you should claim Housing Benefit for help with housing costs from your Local Authority. If you are unsure how to do this, ask for help from the team that housed you in temporary accommodation.

Key points:

  • You should inform UC that you are in temporary accommodation, the rest of your money can still be paid by UC (if eligible).

  • Housing Benefit for temporary accommodation will not be counted towards the benefit cap.

  • If you are eligible for work allowance, the lower work allowance will be used.

  • If you are in temporary accommodation that was not provided by the Local Authority to meet its duty to homeless persons, for example you are living in a Bed and Breakfast that you organised yourself, this will be treated like private rented sector and you can claim housing element through UC. Remember that your payment is based on last day of assessment period.

Supported Accommodation

For UC purposes, supported accommodation refers to accommodation which is provided by a landlord in the social or voluntary sector and the benefit claimant is provided with care, support or supervision by the landlord or by someone acting on the landlord’s behalf.

If you are placed in supported accommodation then you should claim Housing Benefit for help with housing costs from your Local Authority. If you are unsure how to do this, ask for help from your support worker or someone else.

Key points:

  • You should inform UC that you are in supported accommodation, the rest of your money can still be paid by UC (if eligible).

  • Housing Benefit will not be counted towards the benefit cap.

  • If you are eligible for work allowance, the lower work allowance will be used.

  • If you are living in supported accommodation and you are not provided with care, support or supervision by the landlord or by someone acting on the landlord’s behalf, you should claim help for housing costs through UC. This will be treated as social housing or private renting.