Earlier this year the government passed a bill in parliament to dramatically change the way welfare works.  It is the biggest reform to the way the system works in many years.  The changes will affect almost everyone.  Most of them do not come into effect until April 2013 but we want to make sure that you have a basic understanding of what is changing, how and why its changing and when its changing. We also want to let you know if there is anything that you should be doing now to get ready for these changes.

Universal Credit

This is the biggest single change. The government is doing away with income based Income Support, income based Job Seekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit & Working Tax Credit.  All of these benefits will be replaced by one single Universal Credit.  Your Universal Credit will be worked out on a computer system that will take into account all your circumstances and come up with what the government believes to be a fair amount for you to receive.  It should be similar to any money that you are currently receiving.  It will be paid monthly, probably in arrears.  If you are used to getting Housing Benefit paid directly to your landlord you will have to make new arrangements to make sure that your rent is paid.

We strongly encourage our tenant’s to consider opening an account with Hammersmith & Fulham Credit Union. They can help you manage paying your rent to us, help you to save and offer manageable loans.

They are a not-for-profit financial co-operative serving anyone who lives or works in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. They also serve employees of Hammersmith & Fulham council (LBHF), Notting Hill Housing Trust (NHHT) and Shepherd’s Bush housing Group (SBHG).

They can be contacted on

Tel: 0207 471 2620

Branch:  274 North End Road, London SW16 1NJ

Opening Times:

Monday          10am – 4pm

Tuesday          10am – 4pm

Wednesday     10am – 4pm

Thursday         10am – 4pm

Friday              10am – 4pm

Saturday          10am – 4pm