During 2013, the Welfare Benefits system is changing. The following details the changes which could affect you.
Under Occupancy (Spare Room Subsidy):
From April 2013; the amount of Housing Benefit paid to working age tenants who live in council or housing association properties has been reduced, where they have more bedrooms than the family needs under the regulations. Please note anyone born before 5 October 1951, the age at which they are eligible to claim Pension Credit is not affected.
Exceptions to the Under Occupancy (Spare Room Subsidy):
- An additional bedroom is allowed for foster children, including approved foster carers who are waiting for a child to be placed with them,
- Those serving in the armed forces who return to their parents home during their leave, are allowed an additional bedroom,
- An additional bedroom may also be allowed for disabled children who because of their disability are unable to share a bedroom,
- Customers with an adult children who are away at University but continue to live with their parents and intend to return home will be allowed an additional bedroom. The temporary absence must not be for more than 52 weeks.
For more information, please see the leaflet in the download area below. If you are affected by this change it is important you speak to your housing office or landlord as soon as possible.
From July 2013, there will be a national cap on the amount of benefits a single person or family can receive. The cap is limited to £500 per week for a family, and £350 per week for a single person. For more information please visit the Department for Work and Pensions website. The Benefit Cap will start to affect people in Leeds from July 2013.
From October 2013, nationally there will be the introduction of the single monthly payment of benefits, this will be called Universal Credit. Universal Credit will replace the following means tested benefits; Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits.
In preparation for Universal Credit you will need to have a bank account and set up arrangements to pay your bills. For further information please visit the Department for Work and Pensions website.
PIP (Personal Independence Payment):
In Leeds, from June 2013 all new claims for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), from people aged between 16 and 64 will be treated as a claim for Personal Independence Payment.
Claims from children under 16 and people over 64 will continue as Disability Living Allowance.
People aged between 16 and 64 who are already getting DLA will move over to PIP as follows:
From October 2013;
- Claimants on fixed period DLA awards for renewal
- Young people turning 16.
- DLA claimants reporting a change in their condition
From October 2015;
- The DWP will begin selecting existing DLA claimants, and inform them about what they should do to claim PIP.
There are other welfare benefit changes not mentioned above, to discover more about these please see the Welfare Reform booklet in the downloads section (see below).