Our Financial Inclusion Team are here to help and support your personal finances. Our services include:

  • Benefit maximisation and help applying for financial uplifts
  • Housing cost entitlement checks and assistance to increase this were possible
  • Securing grants to help set up home
  • Support for tenants in arrears by establishing sustainable repayment plans based on the tenants personal budget
  • Applications to benevolent funds
  • Support with Universal Credit applications and maintenance of claims.

There are a number of Welfare Changes outlined below that could affect you as a Choice tenant. If you need any help or guidance with money issues, you can contact our Financial Inclusion Team on 0300 111 2211 or email enquiries@choice-housing.org

Benefit Capping

The Benefit Cap is an upper limit on the amount of benefit a household can receive. It applies if you or your partner (if you have one) is of working age. The Government will add up how much money you get from a range of benefits, including: Bereavement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit. If the total comes to more than the maximum amount allowed, your Housing Benefit payments will be reduced.

For up to date information please visit: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/the-benefit-cap 

Bedroom Tax (Social Sector Size Criteria)

Welfare supplementary payments are available in northern Ireland to anyone affected by the bedroom tax. If you have any questions regarding help available please ask to speak with one of our Financial Inclusion team.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single means-benefit for working-age people aged 18 to 64 years old and is paid to each household. Universal Credit will be paid monthly by default but claimants can choose to receive payments twice monthly. The housing element of Universal Credit will be paid by default to your landlord on a monthly basis. 

At the start of a claim for Universal Credit the joint claimants must choose whether payment is made to one single account or whether to split payments across two accounts (there is no default option).

Claims for Universal Credit must be made online, and all subsequent contact regarding weekly rental charges will also be conducted online at www.nidirect.gov.uk/UniversalCredit 

If you would like further information and advise on Universal Credit, you can read our information booklet below or visit NI Direct for up to date information: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/universal-credit 

Rates Rebate

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit and require help with rent costs, Universal Credit will pay rent and service charge, however rates are not covered by this benefit.

You will therefore have to make a claim for rates rebate to help cover this by following the link and making your claim;


Help and Advice 

Our Financial Inclusion Team are on hand and available to speak to you should you have any questions or feel you would like practical advice about money issues. You can contact them on 0300 111 2211 or email enquiries@choice-housing.org