Welfare Reform and Universal Credit

Many tenants are likely to be affected by Universal Credit, Benefit Cap, Bedroom Tax or LHA Cap for under 35’s.

Universal Credit

  • A Single monthly payment to a householdUniversal Credit
  • Paid monthly in arrears
  • For working age people (only those under 62)
  • Applies to claimants who are both working and non-working
  • Claim starts 7 days after the initial claim
  • First payment is 6 weeks after claim
  • You can ask for partial advance to cover the initial period but it will be taken back from the next payments

Read our Universal Credit Magazine here

Universal Credit Information

LHA Cap Under 35’s

  • For all new working age tenancies signed after April 2016
  • It will apply to supported housing tenancies signed after 2017
  • Reduction will apply from April 2018
  • Weekly amount capped at £68.18 (52 weeks)
  • For single claimants only
  • Exemptions: couples, those with dependent children, some DLA or PIP claimants and recently homeless

Bedroom Tax

  • Housing Benefit payments can be reduced if you have a spare bedroom
  • A reduction of 14% of your eligible rent for 1 spare room or 25% for 2 or more spare rooms
  • There are some exemptions to the bedroom tax;
    1. when the room is needed for a non-resident overnight carer (but they must need to stay overnight)
    2. An approved foster carer who is between placements for up to 52 weeks
    3. A newly approved foster carer for up to 52 weeks
    4. Students or people in the armed forces as long as they have an intention to return

Click here for more information on Bedroom Tax

Click here to use the Local Housing Allowance bedroom calculator 

Click here for more information regarding Discretionary Housing Benefit payments

Benefit Cap

The Benefit cap is a weekly limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get.

You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner work, and either of the following apply:

  • you or your partner are eligible for Working Tax Credit
  • you or your partner get Universal Credit, and your household income is more than £430 a month after tax and National Insurance

The cap applies to the total amount people in your household (you, your partner and any children living with you) get from the following benefits:

Bereavement Allowance

Carer’s Allowance (this won’t be affected by the benefit cap from autumn 2016)

Child Benefit

Child Tax Credit

Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the ‘support’ component)

Guardian’s Allowance (this won’t be affected by the benefit cap from autumn 2016)

Housing Benefit

Incapacity Benefit

Income Support

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Maternity Allowance

Severe Disablement Allowance

Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)

Universal Credit (unless you’ve had a work capability assessment and aren’t fit for work)

Benefit cap amounts

From Autumn the cap will be:

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you’re in a couple, whether your children live with you or not
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you’re single and your children live with you
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you’re single and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you

Click here for Benefit cap calculator

Click here for Benefit calculator

If you have any concerns about your income or benefits please contact your Income Officer on 01452 424344.