Major legislative changes are being made which will change the way people will apply and receive benefits. The Welfare Reform Bill 2011/2012 has not as yet completed its parliamentary process: Glasgow Homelessness Network will update this page as information changes and as more details emerge. Please check back regularly for updates.
The three changes which may have most affect on our members are:
- Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance/Council Tax Benefit
- Local Housing Allowance capped:
- £250 per week for 1 bedroom
- £290 per week for 2 bedrooms
- £390 per week for 3 bedrooms
- £400 per week for 4 bedrooms
- The 5 bedroom rate has been removed: those renting a property of this size or larger will receive a maximum of £400.
- Non-dependant reduction in Housign Benefit
- A reduction of Housing Benefit will be applied in respect of non-dependants (a non-dependant is someone living in the household who is over the age of 18). No deduction should be made from rent rebates or allowances if the non-dependant is under 25 and on Income Support of income-based Job Seekers Allowance.
- Extension of shared room rate
- The Local Housing Allowance shared room rate is extended to everyone up to 35 years old. This means that everyone aged up to 35 is restricted to the rate for a single room in a shared house, rather than the rate for a self-contained one bedroom property.
- Under-occupancy rules
- Under-occupancy rules will come into affect in April 2013. This will mean that Housing Association tenants under-occupying their propert, or living in a house considered to be too big for their needs will have their Housing Benefit payments reduced.
- Discretionary Housing Benefit payments
- Discretionary payments can be made by the Local Authority to individuals who need further assistance with their rent or council tax. It is a limited pot of money allocated by the Government on an annual basis. It can be used for rent deposits, rent in advance, rent arrears (except when Housing Benefit covers all rent costs) and a short-fall between Housing Benefit and rent.
- Local Housing Allowance capped:
- Employment Support Allowance
- Individuals may be eligible to receive ESA if they have an illness and/or disability that affects their ability to work. Youth ESA will be abolished for new claimants; however, existing claimants aged 16-25 will still be able to claim (claims will be limited to 12 months, with any time spent on ESA prior to 2012 counting towards this period). Migration from Incapacity Benefit to ESA should be completed by the end of March 2014.
- Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payments
- Individuals may be entitled to DLA if they have a mental or physical 'disability' or both, or if their disability is severe enough to need help caring for themselves or having walking difficulties or both.
- DLA is made up of two components, Care and Mobility. Care has three rates (low, medium and high), Mobility has two rates (low and high).
- Personal Independent Payment will replace working age DLA. It will have two components; a daily living and a bobility component.
- The eligibility criteria for Personal Independent Payments is set to be much more strict than that of Disability Living Allowance. From April 2013 to 2016 everyone receiving DLA will be reassessed to determine whether or not they qualify for the new Personal Independence Payment.
From October 2013 Universal Credit replaces income-based Job Seekers Allowance, income-based Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Cerdits, Housing Benefits and Budgetting Loan elements of the social fund.
Universal Credit will be one payment, paid four-weekly in arrears. The payment will depend on all elements of the claim being processed and the payment will not be made until this occurs.