Welfare reform

The Government’s Welfare Reforms mean there are changes to benefits and some of the main changes are:

  • Universal Credit is a single monthly payment that will replace some of the benefits and tax credits people get now. It is for people looking for work and people unable to work due to illness, disability or childcare commitments and also people in work on low incomes.
  • During 2016/17 the Government phased in a new benefit cap which means that the total amount of benefit a household can receive is restricted to £20,000 per year. This works out at a maximum of £384 per week for families and £257 per week for single people. Any excess benefit will be deducted from your housing benefit or the housing element of your Universal Credit.
  • If you are of working age and claim Housing Benefit, from April 2016 any backdate requests are reduced to a maximum of one month.
  • Housing Benefit reductions for customers of working age who have a ‘spare bedroom’- known as 'Bedroom Tax'. If your accommodation is too big, your Housing Benefit (or universal Credit) will be reduced by 14% if you have one extra bedroom and 25% if you have two extra bedrooms. Visit our find a property section if you are considering downsizing.
  • Replacing Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payment (PIP). All existing working age claimants will be re-assessed, many will see a drop in their entitlement or be taken off the benefit altogether.