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Universal Credit and changes to your benefit

Since the Welfare Reform Act of March 2012 a number of changes have been made to welfare benefits - read on for information on the main changes. You can also:

Universal Credit

We’ve created a short video to give you information and advice about how to claim Universal Credit, and where you can go for additional help.

Please note the telephone helpline is now FREE. The numbers have changed to the following: Telephone: 0800 328 9344 Textphone: 0800 328 1344.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a new benefit that is gradually being introduced and replaces the following six benefits:

  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

To claim Universal Credit you will need access to the internet, an email address and bank account or post office account. Universal Credit is paid direct to the person claiming benefit and includes housing costs. It is normally paid monthly in arrears.  If you receive Universal Credit you will normally be responsible for paying your own rent. Find out more about Universal Credit on the website.

Under-occupation (also known as the ‘Bedroom Tax’)

This affects people of working age who are under-occupying and claiming Housing Benefit or the housing costs in Universal Credit . If you are considered to be under-occupying you will have a reduction in benefits of 14% for one bed under occupancy or 25% for two bed or more. See if you are affected by using the Bedroom Calculator

Benefit cap

The Government has limited the amount of welfare benefits people can receive. This is £23,000 per annum inside Greater London and £20,000 per annum outside London. Read more to see if you are affected by the benefit cap.

Concerned about paying your rent?

If you are concerned about paying your rent please contact us. Our Income Officer will be happy to advise you, we also have a Welfare Specialist team who can provide advice and guidance on claiming benefits and any concerns you may have.

Any concerns please contact us at the following address

You can find out more about welfare reform on the website.