CARDENDEN and Kinglassie MP, Peter Grant, is reminding people who are in receipt of Universal Credit that they need to update their records if they have had a rent increase.

Fife Council rents, and rents for many housing associations increased on April 1. Mr Grant said it was important to remind Universal Credit claimants that, unlike the former Housing Benefit system, the increase would not automatically be updated on their records.

He said this week: “People who have recently been transferred over from the previous benefits system may not realise that they need to update their 'online journal' of their rent increases.

"Otherwise there’s a danger that their benefit may not increase to reflect the rent increase. While household budgets are already being stretched right now, I would hate to see anyone receive less money than they are due because of old information on their Universal Credit claim.”

With the creation of the Universal Credit system, claimants are required to keep an online ‘journal’ and to amend it if their circumstances change. This includes updating their journal of their rent increases. This information helps to determine the level of support that a person receives each month.

Mr Grant added: “Many people who are now receiving Universal Credit have never had to deal with the complexities and unsympathetic nature of the UK welfare system before. I would much have preferred to see the UK Government introduce a Universal Basic Income in response to the coronavirus lockdown. It would have cut out a lot of bureaucracy and given everyone a guaranteed level of financial support."