From 8 November 2017, Universal Credit (UC) replaced Housing Benefit and no new claims for Housing Benefit can normally be made from this date. Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and aims to to make the welfare system simpler by replacing six benefits and tax credits with a single monthly payment. UC applies to claimants of working age only. In general you will only be eligible to make a new application for Housing Benefit if: You have reached Pension Credit qualifying age You are entitled to a Severe Disability Premium (Visit gov.uk for more information) You live in supported or temporary accommodation From 15 May 2019 an important change is coming into force for mixed age couples, click below for further information. Changes for mixed age couples A mixed age couple is where one party of the couple is over State Pension qualifying age and the other under that age. From 15 May 2019, if you're in a mixed age couple you'll only be eligible to start getting Housing Benefit if one of you started claiming Housing Benefit or Pension Credit (for you as a couple) before 15 May 2019. If you're not already getting Housing Benefit on 14 May 2019, you can backdate your claim. You could still be eligible to get Housing Benefit. You can ask for your claim to be backdated to 14 May or before. You'll need to apply by 13 August 2019 to do this. You can apply for Universal Credit instead if you're still not eligible. If you already get Housing Benefit and you're in a mixed age coupleYou'll continue to get Housing Benefit after 15 May 2019. If your entitlement stops for any reason, for example your circumstances change, you cannot start getting it again until you and your partner are eligible under the new rules. If you are of pension age already getting Housing Benefit and you're singleFrom 15 May 2019, you'll stop getting Housing Benefit if you start living with a partner who is under State Pension age. You can start getting it again when your partner reaches State Pension age. Working Age couples where one member reaches State Pension ageYou'll stop getting Housing Benefit and should apply for Universal Credit instead. You can start getting Housing Benefit again when your partner also reaches State Pension age. If we've asked you to provide documents and/or information to support a claim, you don’t need to visit our offices or send documents through the post. You can supply this information using our online evidence upload form. Housing Benefit is administered by the Local Authority on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, it provides assistance with the payment of rent to those who are on a low income. If you rent your property from a Private Landlord, your Housing Benefit will be paid under the Local Housing Allowance scheme. A size criteria also known as 'Bedroom Tax' may affect those in the social rented sector (Council Housing and Housing Associations). Visit our Benefit Forms page if you wish to apply for Housing Benefit, or to report a change of circumstances. How will my Housing Benefit be paid? Benefit Fraud is a crime, don’t let it happen. Report Housing Benefit fraud. You might find our Housing Benefit frequently asked questions helpful. Contact Us If you have any Housing Benefit queries, you can contact us in the following ways:- By Email:Our departmental email address is firstname.lastname@example.org By Telephone:Call our Customer Services Team by dialling 01382 431205. Opening hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8.30am - 5.00pm; Wednesday 9.30am - 5.00pm. Calls may be recorded for quality and training purposes. By visiting us:Visit us in person at any of our designated enquiry offices. By post:Write to us at the following address:-Executive Director of Corporate ServicesCustomer Services and ITPO BOX 218Dundee DD1 3YS Other available grants Social Security Scotland have introduced a Best Start Grant which is made up of three payments. The Pregnancy and Baby Payment was launched successfully on 10 December 2018, the Early Learning Payment launched on 29 April 2019 and the School Age Payment will open for applications on 3 June. As part of a programme of measures, including the Baby Box, targeted at children's early years, the aim of the payments is to support parents and tackle inequality, improving health outcomes and raising attainment. A Pregnancy and Baby Payment of £600 for a first child and £300 for any subsequent child. This will help with expenses in pregnancy or of having a new child. There will be an extra £300 if you have a multiple birth; An Early Learning Payment of £250. This will help with costs with early learning at around the time a child may take up a nursery place, to support child development; and A School Age Payment of £250. This will help with the costs of preparing for primary school. For further information about Best Start Grants can be found on the Scottish Government website.