We're committed to supporting our customers through the Government’s Welfare Reforms. Some of the main changes under the Welfare Reform Act are:
Housing Benefit reductions for customers of working age deemed to have a ‘spare bedroom’ -known as 'Bedroom Tax' (from April 2013)
Universal Credit a single monthly payment that will replace some of the benefits and tax credits people get now.
Increasing ‘Non Dependant Deductions’ by around 20% during 2012 and 2013.
Capping the total amountof welfare benefits paid to a household during 2013 (known as 'Benefits Cap').
Replacing Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payment (PIP). All existing working age claimants will be re-assessed, many will see a drop in their entitlement or be taken off the benefit altogether.
The Welfare Reform Act gives the Government the power to introduce what is known as a ‘Bedroom Tax’ for Housing Benefit in social rented accommodation.
This will mean that any working-age household deemed to be under-occupying their home will lose part of their Housing Benefit (implemented April 2013). If your accommodation is too big, your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 14% if you have one extra bedroom and 25% if you have two extra bedrooms. Use our calculator to find out how your Housing Benefit payments could have been effected. See our Frequently Asked Questions.
The Money Advice Service have a site to help you prepare for UC. This has all the information for customers to prepare for UC , including how to open a basic bank account and other options (credit union), direct debits, budgeting sheets, managing you rent account on UC and tips on how to make your money go further. Also see our FAQs on the Universal Credit.
When an adult, other than your partner, lives with you, they are called a non-dependant. If you have a non-dependant living in your home, your Housing Benefit may be reduced by a certain amount each week.
Non-Dependant: Is an adult (other than your partner) who lives with you. This can be an adult son, daughter or close relative. Any other adult staying with you on a non-commerical basis such as a friend is also a Non-Dependant. Lodger: Is someone who lives in your home on a commercial basis, sharing living space with you. A close relative cannot be classed as a Lodger for Housing Benefit purposes.
A lodger can make their own claim for Housing Benefit but a Non-Dependant cannot
Tenants with Non-Dependants in the property will usually have a Non-Dependant Deduction taken from their Housing Benefit award
Taking in a lodger will not attract a Non-Dependant Deduction but the payments received from a lodger are classed as an income (currently the first £20 per week is disregarded for all passported benefits)
The Welfare Reform Act gives the Government the power to cap the total amount of benefit which a single person or couple is entitled to. The cap was introduced in 2013.
The cap is set at the average net earnings for a working household, currently £500 per week for lone parents and couples with or without children, and £350 per week for single people without children. See our FAQ on the benefit cap.
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 scrapped Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and replaced this with a new benefit, ‘Personal Independence Payment’ started in April 2013.
DLA will end for everyone of working age (16 to 64 on the day PIP is introduced) even if they have an indefinite period award. If you get DLA the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to you to reassess your claim.
From April 2013, national council tax benefit ended and was replaced by a local council tax support scheme. Salford City Council is proposing a new local scheme which has been designed to be as fair as possible within the funding available and although similar to the existing council tax benefit, there would be some key changes for people of working age. Find out more and have your say on the proposed changes.