Welfare Reform

This page provides basic information on changes to welfare / benefits which have happened recently. More detailed information can be found by accessing the relevant sections from the help and advice page.

Recent changes:

  • Freeze on benefit rates: most benefits will see no cost of living increase for 4 years from April 2016
  • Reduced/harder to access Discretionary Housing Benefit (DHP)
  • Council Tax Benefit replaced with local Council Tax Support: reduced level of support, separate claim for Council Tax support to the local authority (if claiming Universal Credit)
  • Introduction of Personal Independence Payments (P.I.P.)
  • Limit on Child Tax Credits for more than 2 children
  • Under occupation deduction 14% / 25% reduction of Housing Benefit 
  • Reduction to Housing Benefit backdating period: from 1st April 2016 the time limit for requesting backdate of Housing Benefit reduced to one month for working age tenants
  • Benefit Cap to be reduced: reduction to the amount in benefits a household can receive to a maximum £20,000 (outside London) expected to start Autumn 2016
  • Housing Benefit to be capped at Local Housing Allowance rates (LHA):  affects most new tenancies from 1 April 2016 (some from April 2017) but it will be effective from 1 April 2018
  • Universal Credit Introduced 

Coming soon:

  • From April 2017 Universal Credit:  For 18 – 60 year olds. This will replace a number of other benefits you may currently be receiving including Housing Benefit. You can find out more information on this here 
  • From April 2018 Universal Credit: Limited to Local Housing Allowance rates for new social housing tenants, and anyone who moved in from 1st April 2016 (or 1st April 2017 for anyone living in supported or sheltered housing-additional support from the local authority may be available). You can find out more information on this here
  • Local Housing Allowance (single room rate): for most under 35’s from April 2018. You can find out more information on this here.

For further information on these changes, please scroll down for a list of helpful links

If you are worried about these changes it is important you act now and seek advice. Please contact your Income Officer