The Welfare Reform Act changed the way benefits are paid and how they are worked out.
The main features are:
- Universal Credit which is gradually replacing working age benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Employment & Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. This change only affects working age applicants
- The spare bedroom deduction which reduces the amount of Housing Benefit for working age people who are treated as having more bedrooms than they need
- The Benefit Cap which limits the amount of benefit a household can receive to that of the average salary of a working age family
The Welfare & Work Act and Housing & Planning Act has introduced more changes which are detailed on this timeline:
No automatic entitlement to Housing Costs for 18 to 21 year olds
Families claiming Universal Credit will be required to seek work once the youngest child reaches 3 years old or benefits will be reduced
Families claiming Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits with two or more children will receive no further income for additional children born after April 2017
Any new tenancies granted will be for a fixed term of between 2 and 10 years
- Local Housing Allowance Cap: social tenants with a rent higher than the equivalent Local Housing Allowance rent will have their Housing Benefit or housing costs reduced from April 2019. This change will affect you if;
You are claiming Housing Benefit and your current tenancy started on or after April 2016 OR
You are on Universal and getting housing costs in your payment at April 2019 (irrespective of when your tenancy started).
Click here to find out if you're working age or pension age.
If you wish discuss any of these changes and how they may affect you, call the Financial Inclusion team on 01302 736355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.