Archive for December, 2012

Your Benefits Are Changing

Your Benefits Are Changing

What is the Welfare Reform?

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 is the biggest change to the benefit system in many years. The changes will affect working age people in receipt of benefits. These changes will be brought in gradually over the next few years but some changes will be coming into effect as early as April 2013.

What are the key changes?

1.Bedroom Tax

The Bedroom Tax is one of the first things to be fully introduced in April 2013 and will affect everyone receiving Housing Benefit who has a” spare” bedroom.

Please note you will NOT be affected by the ‘Bedroom Tax’ if:

  • You live in a one bedroom flat or bedsit
  • You or your partner are old enough to receive pension credits. In April 2013 the pension credit age will be around 61 years and 6 months

What is a “Spare” Bedroom?

Under the new rules if you have more bedrooms than the Government says you need, you will lose part of your housing benefit. The new rules mean you will be allocated one 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
  • A carer (who does not normally live with you) if you or your partner need overnight care. Evidence to support the need for an overnight carer will be requested,

It does not matter how the spare room is used, the new rules will apply even if:

  • You and your partner sleep apart because of a medical condition
  • The main residence of your child is at another address, but you have a spare room for when they stay with you.

What happens if you have a “spare” bedroom?

  • If you are claiming Housing Benefit and have one spare bedroom, your benefit will be reduced by 14%of the rent you pay every week.
  • If you have two or more spare bedrooms it will be reduced by 25% per week.

 2. Benefit Cap

There will be a Benefit Cap introduced in April 2013. No household will be able to receive more than £26,000 per year for families or £18,200 for single people, no matter what their circumstances. This works out at £350 per week for a single person and £500 per week for a couple or lone parent.

3. Universal Credit

The government is ending Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. All these benefits will be replaced with one single payment called Universal Credit. This will be a monthly payment and you will need to claim online.

4. Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

From June 2013 DLA will be replaced by a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Existing DLA claimants will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions and claimants will need to apply for the new PIP.  The DWP will then assess and inform the claimant whether they are eligible for the payment or not. DLA payments will remain in place until the outcome of the PIP is decided, but will cease immediately if the claimant is eligible for a PIP.

How can I find out more?

If you live in the Cardiff you can find out more here