Big changes to welfare benefits may mean that your
benefit payments are affected.
Universal Credit is a new payment for working-age people who are on a low income or out of work. It helps to ensure you are better off in employment.
It replaces the following benefits:
What does it mean to me?
The biggest change is that you will receive one single monthly payment, including your housing cost. This means it’s your responsibility to pay your rent.
After the successful roll out of Universal Credit across the North West of England, it is now being gradually rolled out across the rest of the country.
Find out if Universal Credit is available in your area.
Keep us informed
If you currently receive Universal Credit or want to make an application, please contact your Account Manager on 0845 8509571.
There are plenty of support services available nearby that would be happy to assist you. Why not try popping into a branch of:
You could also try search on Google using key words relating to your query (for example: benefits advice). Alternatively, if you are a Places for People customer you can contact one of the Money Advice Team:
If you rent and have too many bedrooms for the size of your family you may lose up to 25% of your housing benefit.
Under the new government rules you're entitled to 1 bedroom for:
Each adult couple Any other person aged 16 or over 2 children of the same sex under the age of 16 2 children under the age of 10 regardless of their sex Any other child An overnight carer (who does not normally live with you).
You're also allowed an extra room if:
You've fostered a child or become an approved foster carer in the last 12 months You have adult children in the armed forces (as long as they intend to return).
Disabled children may be eligible for their own room if:
They are eligible for the highest or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Your local authority is satisfied that sharing a bedroom would pose significant disruption or risk of harm to either the disabled child or other children in the household.
The bedroom tax will apply if:
The bedroom tax does not apply if:
OK. I have a spare bedroom. How will it affect me?
If you have 1 spare bedroom your housing benefit will be cut by 14% of the rent you pay every week. If you have 2 or more spare bedrooms you'll lose 25%.
Give me an example
If you get £70 per week in housing benefit - and have 1 spare bedroom - your benefit will be cut by 14%. This means you'll end up with £60.20.
The overall amount of benefits you can receive will now be capped.The government will add up how much money you get from benefits including: housing benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, income support, employment support allowance, child benefit, child tax credit and carer’s allowance.If the total comes to more than the maximum amount allowed your housing benefit payments will be reduced.
What's the maximum amount of benefit I can claim?
This will not apply if:
When will I be affected?
All affected claimants will be capped by September 2013.
Once you have reached state pension age, you may be eligible to claim Pension Credit to top up your income.
Even if you are only entitled to a small amount of Pension Credit it is worth doing so as it can help you to access other benefits.
State pension age is increasing year on year. Use this calculator to find out whether you qualify for Pension Credit.
According to Age UK, about 4 million older people are entitled to Pension Credit, yet about 1 in 3 of those are still not claiming it. Make sure you are claiming all you are entitled by contacting the money advice team.
Changes to Housing Benefit
If you are of Pension Credit age, the way in which you claim your housing benefit is changing.
Housing Benefit is being abolished. When the Government introduces changes to Housing Benefit in 2017, you will need to be claiming Pension Credit to qualify for the new Housing Credit.