Welfare Reform and Benefit Advice

The government has made big changes to the welfare system. For people of working age the aim is to make the system simpler and is paid to make sure that there is a minimum standard of living for everyone. However some people will see their benefit payments go down. Find out more about the main changes to benefits this year below.

People of pension age are not affected by most of the changes. For more information on benefits for older people, visit the Age UK website.

Universal Credit

Universal credit is a new benefit payment for people of working age, bringing together the main means tested benefits and tax credits. The government is introducing universal credit gradually.

The initial roll out of Universal Credit in Wychavon will be limited to certain single people with no dependent children who would have made a new claim for Job Seekers Allowance – they will have to apply for Universal Credit if they meet all of the criteria which has been set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Under Occupation in Social Housing (also referred to as 'bedroom tax or 'spare room subsidy')

From April 2013 your Housing Benefit could be reduced if your home is considered to be too big. You will not be affected by this if you are of pension age.

This may apply to you if you have one or more bedrooms than you need. If this applies to you your Housing Benefit entitlement will be reduced by 14% for one spare bedroom, or 25% for two or more spare bedrooms.

For further information please read our Bedroom Tax information sheet.

Benefits Cap

A cap to the amount of benefits you can receive is being introduced in stages across England, Scotland and Wales. It will start in parts of London from April 2013 and be extended to the rest of Britain by the end of September 2013.

The total amount of benefit that you can receive will be capped. The Government will add up how much money you can get from a range of benefits including Housing Benefit, Child  Benefit, Tax Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.

Find out more about the changes in our Benefit Cap Factsheet.

For more information please read the DWP Benefit Cap Factsheet and visit gov.uk.  

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

In some circumstances you may be eligible for Council Tax reduction. You can find out more in our Council Tax Reduction Scheme Factsheet.

Housing Benefit

Your can read our online section on housing benefit or visit www.gov.uk/housing-benefit for the latest information about changes to the housing benefit system.

Further information on the changes can be found on the DWP website.

Useful links

You can also find out more about how the welfare reforms and changes to housing benefits may affect you from Fortis Housing or Rooftop Housing.