Benefit Changes

The UK Government is making big changes to the way people apply for and receive their benefits. This page will give you a broad overview of what changes have taken place already and what changes are planned for the future:

Bedroom Tax

If you live in a Housing Association house that the Government thinks is too large for your needs the amount of Housing Benefit you get will be reduced and you will have to make up the shortfall in your rent from your other income or benefits.

  • If you have one extra bedroom your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 14%
  • If you have two or more extra bedrooms your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 25%

For more information about Bedroom Tax and to find out if you will be affected contact your Housing Association.

Shared Accommodation Rate

If you live in the Private Rented Sector, and you are under 35 years old you are only entitled to the Shared Room Rate of Local Housing Allowance.

A Shared Room means that you are only entitled to a single room in a shared house, rather than your own one-bedroom flat.

This won’t apply to people who are:

  • Homeless and have lived in hostel accommodation for at least three months
  • Living with a partner, friend or family member
  • Getting the middle rate care element of Disability Living Allowance
  • Get Disability Living Allowance and who sometimes need an overnight carer

Universal Credit

From October 2013 Universal Credit will be rolled out across the country. This new benefit will replace:

  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Child Tax Credits/Universal Credit will be paid monthly into a bank account (your Post Office Card Account isn’t a bank account) and to one member of the household.