Changes to benefits
Recently there have been a number of changes to the benefits you may be entitled to.
Some of these changes are ongoing. These changes may affect you depending on where you live, your age (and the age of those who live with you) and the type and size of property you live in.
Universal Credit will replace the following benefits: Housing Benefit, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance.
There will be some important changes. You will be paid monthly into a bank, credit union or post office account, you will need to apply and manage your claim online and your housing costs will be paid directly to you each month, so it is your responsibility to pay your rent to Horizon.
Universal Credit is currently only available to new, single job seekers of working age. Roll-out to all new claimants will be introduced slowly over the next few years. More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
PIP will replace Disability Allowance (DLA) for working age claimants. PIP helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term health or a disability if you're aged 16 to 64. If you are already receiving DLA you will be invited to claim PIP when your award comes to an end or when you are invited to transfer.
You can find out more information about PIP, make a claim or find out when you will need to make a claim on the GOV.UK website.
The Benefit Cap limits the amount of total benefit you can claim if you are working age. You can find out what benefits are and aren’t included in the benefit cap on the GOV.UK website.
The Benefit Cap is currently £384.62 a week for a couple (with or without children) or a lone parent and £257.69 a week for a single person with no children in the same household. If the total amount of benefits claimed by your household is more than the cap your Housing Benefit will be reduced to bring the total benefit down.
The Bedroom Tax affects working age claimants of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Having one spare bedroom will mean you will lose 14% of your entitled housing benefit. Having two or more spare bedrooms will mean you will lose 25% of your entitlement. If you are affected you are entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments from your local authority to make up for the shortfall. You can learn more about Discretionary Housing Payments on the GOV.UK website.
Need help and advice?
We can provide free and confidential help and advice about benefits - we can also help you claim for benefits you think you may not be entitled to. Contact us on 0330 303 0089 or complete our online enquiry form.