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Friday 19/12/2014

Welfare Reforms - benefit changes that could affect you!!

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Benefits are changing - what’s happening and will it affect me?

The Government has changed the amount of Benefits some people can claim.  If you claim the following your finances could be affected:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit

We want to support you through the huge changes to the benefits system, helping you to minimise the impact on your life. This section will get you prepared for the changes and will:

  • explain the key changes
  • explain who will be affected
  • give you advice on how to make changes to minimise the impact
  • give advice and information in increasing and maximising your income.

Who will be affected?
The changes will affect working age claimants.  Tenants who have reached Pension Credit Age (61 years 6 months) by April 2013 will NOT be affected.

The main changes briefly explained - what is new from April 2013:

  • Under Occupation (Bedroom Tax) - changes to Housing Benefit:  This is when you have more bedroom(s) that the Government say you need.  Your Housing Benefit may be significantly reduced.
  • The Benefit Cap:  This is going to limit the total amount of benefits (including Housing Benefit) a household can receieve.
  • Universal Credit:  This is one single benefit payment (including Housing Benefit) to a household and paid monthly.  This is starting in Warrington on the 29 July 2013.
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP):  This is replacing all new claims to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).  All DLA claimants will over time be asked to claim PIP. 

> Find out more in our - Guide to Welfare Reforms
> Find out more in the - Welfare Reform Timeline (what is happening when)
> Get more advice from the -  'Money Advice Service'
> Find out more on the - WBC Website

If you are affected we want to help you to deal with the challenges and make sure that you don't end up in debt.  If you want to talk through how the changes will affect you and your options contact our Money Advice team on 0800 25 26 27 to discuss how we can help.  You can also contact our dedicated Welfare Reforms support team by emailing ucsupport@gght.org.uk

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