Changes to Benefits

The Government recently passed the Welfare Reform Act which introduces cuts across a wide range of benefits. Some of the main changes are detailed below, with a link to the “Your Benefits are Changing” website which provides more information. If you are still unsure whether you will be affected through other benefits that you claim, please contact us.


Bedroom Tax Charge
Families of working age who under occupy their home will have their housing benefit cut if they have one or more spare bedroom.

More information:
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/benefits/housing-benefit-restrictions-for-social-housing-tenants/housing-benefit-bedroom-calculator-for-social-housing-tenants/


Benefit Cap

The UK Government has decided that there should be a limit on how much a family can receive in benefits.

More information:
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/the-benefit-cap

Council Tax Support
Council tax support had replaced Council Tax Benefit from April 2013.

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)
Each housing benefit department is given a pot of money each year to help people who qualify for housing benefit, but who still struggle to pay their rent. This pot is called Discretionary Housing Payment. Each local council decides who the payment should be given to, how much it is and for how long it is paid for,and will depend entirely on each individual application. For further information or to apply for a DHP contact your local council.

More information:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269539/housing-benefit-factsheet-3-discretionary-housing-payments.pdf

Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payment
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help disabled people live full, active and independent lives. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA). PIP will help people meet the extra cost of being disabled. It is based on how a person’s condition affects them, not the condition they have. It has two components (daily living and mobility) and, unlike DLA, PIP will not be awarded indefinitely so even if you have a lifetime DLA award, you’ll need to apply for PIP when asked to do so.

More information:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/607282/dla-is-ending-leaflet.pdf

Employment Support Allowance
Employment Support Allowance (ESA) was introduced in October 2008 to help most people with an illness or impairment to move into work. You can claim ESA if your ability to work is limited by ill health or impairment. To claim ESA you must also:

  • Be aged 16-64
  • Undergo a 13 week assessment phase

And either

  • have made enough National Insurance contributions,
  • be under 20 (or in some cases under 25), OR
  • be on a low income.

Non dependant deductions
If you are claiming housing or council tax benefit and have another adult who is not your partner living in your home,they are expected to contribute to the running of the home, including rent and council tax.

More information:
http://www.yourbenefitsarechanging.co.uk/nondependentdeductions/default.htm

Social Fund / Discretionary Assistance Fund
The Discretionary Social Fund was abolished by the UK Government under the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

Universal Credit
Over the coming months, housing benefit and many other benefits will be phased out and replaced with Universal Credit. Oneperson per household will be given one payment each month into one bankaccount. Your Universal Credit payment will include the money for your rent andyou’ll need to arrange with your landlord to pay it yourself and manage your finances until your next payment.

More information:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/596901/universal-credit-and-you-march-2017.pdf



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Changes to Benefits »

The Government recently passed the Welfare Reform Act which introduces cuts across a wide range of benefits. Some of the main changes are detailed below, with a link to the “Your Benefits are Changing” website which provides more information.…


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