Changes to benefits and tax credits
The government has introduced a number of changes to the welfare benefits system which may affect you if you're claiming benefit, tax credits or Universal Credit.
We have outlined the forthcoming changes below and where you can go to find out more. You can also download our benefit change timeline outlining these changes.
Reduction to housing benefit (bedroom Tax)
From April 2013 the government decided that current and future working age tenants renting from a housing association or other registered social landlord may have their Housing Benefit reduced if they have one or more spare bedrooms. Find out more about the reduction to housing benefit (bedroom tax).
Benefit Cap reduction
From the 7 November 2016 the government is reducing the Benefit Cap from £26,000 to £20,000 for couples or single parents with one child or more, or couples without children living outside London. For a single adult household without children, the cap will be reduced from £18,200 to £13,400 for those living outside London. Additional exemptions introduced for people getting Guardians Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and the carer’s element of Universal Credit. Find out more about the Benefit Cap.
Changes due in 2017
Removal of Housing Benefit / Housing element of Universal Credit for 18 to 21 year olds
Benefit will be dependent on a ‘Youth Obligation’. Parents whose children live with them, vulnerable groups, and those who were living independently and working continuously for the preceding six months will be exempt from this measure.
Removal of allowance for more than two children
For additional children born and for new claims after April 2017: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Universal Credit. Some exceptions for multiple births and other exceptional circumstances. Some allowances for disabled children will remain.
Removal of family element from tax credits and Universal Credit
Applies to claims which would have qualified after April 2017 due to birth of a child and new claims
Employment Support Allowance reduction to Job Seekers Allowance rate
- Reduced rate for new claimant in the work-related activity group.
- Parents claiming Universal Credit, including lone parents, will be expected to prepare for work from when their youngest child turns two, and to look for work when their youngest child turns three, with support from their local Jobcentre Plus.
Bereavement Support Payment
Replaced by £2,500 lump sum and 12 monthly payments of £150 for people without children or £5000 and 12 payments of £400 for people with children.