“Will they affect me?” The Government says...
WELFARE REFORM ACT: THE WAY FORWARD
There’s been a lot in the news recently about the Government’s Welfare Reform Act which will change the way in which many benefits are assessed and paid. If you receive benefits of any kind, then welfare reform changes could affect you. The guidance we’ve put together here is based on our understanding of the current proposals and legislation.
Managing your own money.
From October 2013, new working-age claimants will receive one single benefit payment called Universal Credit. This payment will include any amount you receive towards housing, Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. By 2017, all existing claimants, who have not previously had a change in circumstance, will receive Universal Credit. This payment will be made directly into your bank account once a month. What we currently call Housing Benefit will no longer be paid directly to Ruchazie Housing Association. This means that you will need to pay your rent from your Universal Credit and you will need to set up a way to make your rent payment. Older people (over working-age) and some vulnerable people will have the opportunity to have the amount they receive towards housing paid directly to Ruchazie Housing Association.
UNIVERSAL CREDIT WILL BE ROLLED OUT IN 3 PHASES.
-Phase 1 Oct 2013 to April 2014 – all new claims and change of circumstances
Do you have a spare bedroom?
The help you get with your rent will be reduced if you under-occupy your home. Rent for Housing Benefit will be reduced by 14 % OR 25% if the household exceeds the size criteria. The Government has said it will set out more details regarding the size criteria in regulations , expected to be published in May 2012.From April 2013, if you are of working age and claim for help with your rent you will be assessed in the following way: