Welfare Reform changes affect people who currently claim benefits.
- Bedroom Tax
- Benefit Cap
- Changes to council tax benefit
Welfare Reform means that many people who currently claim benefits will be affected in some way. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the following advice and information.
From April 2013, if you live in a council or housing association home and you have one or more ‘spare’ bedrooms your housing benefit may be reduced.
You won’t be affected if:
Find more information on this leaflet: Housing benefit changes – advice and information for tenants web version
From April 2013, the overall amount of benefit you can receive will be capped.
The Government will add up how much money you get from a range of benefits, including: housing benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, income support, employment support allowance, child benefit, child tax credit and carer’s allowance.
The maximum amount you will be able to receive is:
This will not apply to you if:
Get more information about the cap on benefits by calling the Government’s information line on 0845 605 7064.
From April 2013 Council Tax Benefit will be replaced by Council Tax Support.
According to Liverpool Council, under the new scheme, working age households will pay at least 8.5 per cent of their Council Tax bill. This includes working age claimants that currently pay no Council Tax as they are in receipt of benefits such as:
Pension age customers will not be affected by this reduction and will receive a similar level of support as they received under the Council Tax Benefit scheme. The current pension age is just over 61 for both men and women.
To qualify for Council Tax Support, you must be:
Council Tax Support is calculated in the same way as Council Tax Benefit, by looking at your income, savings and household circumstances.
If you are applying for help with your council tax for the first time, you will have to complete a claim form, from your council. They can be downloaded here:
Those suffering financial hardship because their Housing Benefit does not meet the full value of their rent, may be able to get a discretionary payment from the government to help.
The Government has set limits on how much Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) can be paid out in any financial year. These payments are made from a separate fund with a limited budget and are awarded as a short-term measure to help claimants experiencing difficult circumstances.
Find out how to apply for these DHP’s and to download the application form for either Liverpool City Council or The Wirral HERE.