Universal Credit doesn’t include help with rates.
If you have to pay rates and you receive Universal Credit, you can apply for a rate rebate. Land & Property Services is in charge of the rate rebate system.
You can only claim Housing Benefit to help with your rates if you cannot claim UC because
- You are over state pension credit age
- You have more than two children and cannot claim UC
- You get a Severe Disability Premium as part of your other benefits
You will not get any help with your rates if your income is too high to qualify for Universal Credit.
Applying for a rates rebate
You can only claim rates rebate once you’ve started to receive Universal Credit. You make your online, but can get help with your online claim by calling 0300 200 7802. You'll have up to three months from the date you start claiming Universal Credit to claim rates rebate, but it's best to do this as quickly as possible to avoid any arrears building up.
The rates rebate claim page is available on the NI Direct website. There are two steps to claiming rate rebate. You must
- Set up a rate rebate account
- Confirm this account and then log in to make your claim.
Information you'll need in order to apply
You'll need to have certain information in order to apply for help. You'll have to
- provide your name and address, including your postcode
- provide your date of birth and national insurance number
- provide some information about your partner, if you have one
- explain if you own or rent your home
- provide the name of your landlord, if you rent your home
- explain if there are any joint owners or joint tenants of the property
- provide your landlord's telephone number and email address if you are a private tenant.
Your rate rebate account
Your rate rebate account will tell you how much your payment is each month. The money goes directly to the ratepayer account for the property and not to you or your landlord.
The amount you will get each month depends on what you were earning when you first applied, so you will need to tell Land & Property Services if:
- the amount of Universal Credit you receive changes,
- your rates increase or decrease,
- your share of the rates changes, because someone else moves in or moves out of the property,
- you move home.
If you are a private tenant, your landlord must also set up a rate rebate account.
The system will tell your landlord that you have made a claim and the landlord must then create an account or log into an existing rates rebate account to confirm the information you’ve provided.
Backdating rates rebate
You must be getting Universal Credit in order to get a rates rebate. Your rates rebate can be backdated for a maximum of three months, but can't be backdated to a time before you were getting Universal Credit.
How much help will you receive?
The amount of help you will get depends on
- the rates bill for the property
- whether any other people are also expected to pay towards the rates on the property
- your income.
Universal Credit claimants who have no income or whose income is less than their maximum Universal Credit payment will get their full share of the rates covered by a rates rebate, but you will receive less if your income is higher than your maximum Universal Credit payment.