Welfare Reform

Welfare Reform - How will changes to benefits affect you in the Private Rented Sector?

If you claim benefits - it is likely that you will be affected by the changes introduced by the government in 2013.

Benefit Cap

The government will add up how much money you get from benefits, including housing benefit, jobseeker's allowance, employment support allowance, child tax credit, child benefit and carer's allowance.

If the total adds up to more than the maximum, any extra will not be paid.

If you get housing benefit, it is important to include this in your calculations.

Benefits will be capped at 500 per week for couples and single parents, and 350 per week for single people without children.

Any housing benefit you get will be included in that amount of benefit you get, including your housing benefits, comes to more than the cap, your housing benefit will go down. You will have to make the difference from your other income or benefits.

Universal Credit

A new benefit, 'Universal Credit', will replace these benefits and will be paid as one single payment:

  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income - based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income - replated Employment and Support Allowance

All your money, including housing benefit, will be paid straight to you by direct payments so it would be your responsibility to manage your money and pay rent on time.

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across certain parts of the UK, and further information can be found by clicking here.

You can also find more information by reading the Universal Credit frequently asked questions and Citizens Advice also offer further advice.

What do I need to do next?

Don't wait, make sure you take action now...

Work out if you will be affected by the benefit cap. If all your benefits added together to come to more than 500 per week for couples and single parents, or 350 per week for single people, your housing benefit will be cut and you will have to make up the difference from your other benefits.

Use this benefits calculator to find out if your benefits will be cut

Will you still be able to manage?

  • Can you cope without the money by making other benefits go further?
  • Can you increase your income?

If your income is going to be cut because of the benefit cap, you should go to your local Jobcentre Plus. They can help you find a job, which will not only increase your income, it may mean you can get extra in - work benefits.

You can also seek further advice from Citizens Advice Woking