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Benefit Changes

Changes to the benefit system that could affect you.

You will probably have heard that housing and other welfare benefits changed in 2013. If you claim benefits it is important that you know what changes are happening and how they are likely to affect you.  April 2013 brought some of the biggest changes, including cuts in housing benefit for households where you have more bedrooms than the Government considers you need. This has been called the 'bedroom tax'.  
Universal Credit 
Universal Credit is one single benefit that includes the following payments; 
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Income Based Job Seeker's Allowance 
  • Working Tax Credits 
  • Child Tax Credits 
  • Income Support
  • Income Relatred Employment Support Allowance 
Housing Benefit Changes
From April 2017: The family element will be removed from all Housing Benefit claims.
The automatic entitlement for 18-21yr olds will end however, it is understood that vulnerable adults will be exempt.
Working Age Benefits
Working age benefits include Job Seeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, some types of Housing Benefit, and Child Benefit. Pensions, Maternity Pay and disability benefits are excluded.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA):- Currently those who claim the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) element of ESA get £30 more than JSA. But from April 2017, new claimants judged fit for work-related activity will get the same as JSA. That is currently £73.10 for someone over the age of 25, or £57.90 for 18-24 year-olds. The WRAG element of ESA currently pays £103 a week. The date is subject to change.