From 4 October 2017, if you make a new claim for Universal Credit in a full service area in Scotland you can ask to change the way that your UC is paid.
You can ask:
- to be paid every two weeks instead of monthly, and/or
- for the housing costs element of your UC to be paid directly to your landlord.
These choices have been designed to help people claiming UC in Scotland to manage their money and to help prevent the build-up of rent arrears. These choices are sometimes called the 'Scottish Flexibilities'.
The choices are available to anyone claiming UC on or after 4 October in full service areas. You do not need to be in financial difficulty in order to request a Scottish UC choice. This is in contrast to the alternative payment arrangements that some people claiming UC can set up with the Jobcentre Plus. These are only available in some circumstances e.g if you are in debt, have rent arrears or are vulnerable in some way.
The Scottish UC choices are not yet available to people who started claiming UC before 4 October 2017. The Scottish Government are working with the Department for Work and Pensions to make the Scottish UC choices available to this group of people from January 2018. The choices will only be available in full service areas.
We have written new content on our public advice website about the Scottish choices. Please let us know what you think of the new information by using the feedback form on the website page.