Moving house

Important information on moving house if you need to claim benefits to help with your rent

In Cornwall we are now a full service Universal Credit area which means that for most working age people any new claims for benefit to help with rent costs will now be a claim for Universal Credit (UC).

If you move within Cornwall and already receive Housing benefit you may just be able to change address and stay on your existing benefits. You can ring Cornwall Councils benefit team on 0300 1234 121 who can advise whether you can do this.

If you are of working age and are moving to Cornwall from out of the area you will need to make a new claim for Universal Credit to get any help with housing costs to pay your rent.

Please note that with Universal credit any help with housing costs is paid direct to you and you will be responsible for paying your rent.

Universal Credit is one monthly benefit that will replace the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

It is important to note: If you need to make a claim for Universal credit for housing costs then these benefits will stop.

Some claimants receive extra premiums with their benefits and are assessed because they are in receipt of DLA or PIP. These extra premiums do not exist in UC and many disabled people are worse off if they have to make a new claim for UC such as when moving home into an area with full service Universal credit.

Please note that most social landlords now require 2-4 weeks rent in advance and Universal Credit is paid in arrears, so you need to be able to pay your rent in advance.

If you are moving and currently receive any of the benefits above please seek advice about whether you will need to claim Universal credit and how it may affect you financially.

Where to get advice

Citizens Advice bureau (CAB):

You can search for your local CAB at and you can also ask an advisor via web chat on this page or you can call 03444 111 444

Disability Information and advice line (DIAL)

Provides information and advice through a network of local centres for people with disabilities. You can contact them at:

For disability Cornwall you can telephone: 01736 759500 or email

Age UK

Can provide information and advice (including benefit checks) for people over the age of 50. In Cornwall you can call 01872 266383 or

You can find your local Age UK by visiting Or you can call the national Age UK advice line on 0800 055 6112.  It is free to call from 8am to 7pm every day.

Online benefit calculation

You could also do an online benefit calculation to get an idea of how your benefits may be affected if you are moving by visiting: or

Your local council

Your local council may also have information about where you can seek advice locally.

The information on this page is also available on a leaflet
Moving House