Welfare reform

The government has made big changes to the welfare system, for people of working age (if you are pension age, then you won't be affected by most of these changes). The aim is to make the system simpler and to make sure that there is a minimum standard of living for everyone by incentivising people back into work. 

Find out about the main changes to the benefits below:

Council Tax Reduction scheme

In some circumstances, you may be eligible for a Council Tax reduction. If you are on a low income or if you claim benefits, you might be eligible for a Council Tax bill reduction (also known as Council Tax Support) of up to 100%. You can make a claim online using our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support form.

You can find out more in our Council Tax Reduction scheme fact sheet.

Under occupation in social housing (also referred to as 'bedroom tax')

Your Housing Benefit could be reduced if your home is considered to be too big. This may apply to you if you have one or more bedrooms than you need, you will not be affected by this if you are of pension age. 

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.

Read our bedroom tax information sheet to find out how these changes will affect you.

Universal Credit

A new benefit payment system which is gradually being introduced to replace six existing benefits for working-age people, merging them into one payment. This monthly payment replaces a range of means-tested benefits including tax credits, housing benefits and job seekers allowance.

Useful links

  • Fortis housing - find out more about how the welfare reforms
  • Age UK - for more information on benefits for older people
  • DWP - further information on housing benefit changes
  • GOV.UK - for the latest information about changes to the housing benefit system