Since the Welfare Reform Act of March 2012 a number of changes have been made to welfare benefits. The Government’s objective is to encourage people into work, support the most vulnerable, encourage people to save for their pension and reduce the Welfare Benefit bill. We have set out the main changes below with links to further information and advice.
You can also use our free online benefit calculators to check your entitlement to welfare benefits.
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.
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.
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 gov.uk website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org