The Government is carrying out a major welfare reform programme. The changes will affect many benefit claimants in Central Bedfordshire.
Download our welfare reform update leaflet (PDF 485KB) to find out about all the main changes.
When will the changes start happening?
- Size criteria rules are introduced in housing benefit for working age people in the social rented sector
- Local council tax support replaces council tax benefit
- Community care grants and crisis loans stop, and funding is transferred to Local Authorities for local welfare provision
- Disability Living Allowance is replaced with Personal Independence Payments
July - September 2013
- The total income from benefits for many households is restricted by a benefit cap
- Universal Credit begins to replace Housing Benefit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
The Government has identified two key problems with the current system:
work incentives are poor, and
the system is too complex
They are changing the system to help people move into work, whilst still supporting the most vulnerable. The aim is to make the benefit system fairer, more affordable, and better able to tackle poverty.
Housing benefit and council tax benefit questions
If you have any questions about the changes to housing benefit or council tax benefit, and how Central Bedfordshire Council can help you, call us on 0300 300 8306 or email email@example.com.
What help is available?
Ask Ma! The Money Advice Service - free, unbiased, independent help - The Money Advice Service helps you manage your money better. Use the Health Check tool, calculators and comparison tables to make the most of your finances.
Benefit cap - GOV.UK - A limit will be put on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called a ‘benefit cap’. Local councils will be introducing this between 15 April and 30 September 2013.
National Debtline - offer debt advice for people living in England. Visit the National Debtline or call 0808 808 4000.
NHS Choices - Credit Crunch advice - articles and videos on living on a budget and coping when money is tight. Includes healthy eating, fitness and managing stress.
Personal Independence Payment - GOV.UK - Personal Independence Payment (PIP) started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from 8 April 2013 for people aged 16 to 64 with a long-term health condition or disability.
Shelter - Free housing and homelessness advice and information, including housing benefits, council housing, tenants' rights, mortgage arrears, repossession, eviction and neighbour problems.
Simplifying the welfare system and making sure work pays - GOV.UK
Many people on benefits believe that the financial risks of moving into work are too great. For some, the gains from work, particularly if they work part-time, are small, and any gain can easily be cancelled out by costs such as transport.
The government believes that the current system is too complex and there are insufficient incentives to encourage people on benefits to start paid work or increase their hours.
We are aiming to make the benefit system fairer and more affordable to help reduce poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency and to reduce levels of fraud and error.
Turn2us - Benefit news and changes - find out information about the benefits change timetable, incapacity benefits changes, Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and State Pension age changes.