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Do you know about the changes to benefits?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey there :wave:

You may have heard about the changed to benefits in the very near future. I thought I’d give you guys a heads up and see what you think. They’re worth knowing about if you claim benefits at the moment so that you can find out if you’ll be affected.

One of the changes is the benefit cap. Others include the ‘bedroom tax’, reduction of council tax benefit and replacing many benefits with Universal Credit. Here’s a quick summary...

Benefit cap
From 15 April 2013 the benefit cap will come into force in 4 London Boroughs; Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey. It will be rolled out to other boroughs nationally after until 30 September 2013 when the benefit cap will apply to all boroughs.

The total amount of benefit that people aged 16-64 will be limited. It will work by your Housing Benefit being reduced to bring down the amount of benefit you receive.

The amount of the benefit cap is as follows;
1. £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
2. £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
3. £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children or whose children don’t live with them

Some people won’t be affected. For example if you qualify for Working Tax Credit, DLA, Personal Independence Payment (from April 2013), Attendance Allowance or the support component of ESA.

‘Bedroom tax’
From 1 April 2013, council tenants and housing association tenants will be subject to the ‘bedroom tax’ (or ‘spare room subsidy’ if you prefer). This will mean their housing benefit entitlement will be reduced if you have spare rooms.
It will be reduced by a fixed percentage; 14% if you have one extra bedroom and 25% if you have two extra bedrooms.

You will have to make up the shortfall to your rent from your other income.
There is on-going litigation about this at the moment because of a few specific cases about disabled people and their need for an extra bedroom. It’s also been in the media recently.

Also remember that the Local Housing Allowance is already in force for those renting privately. The affect is similar to the bedroom tax as you only receive housing benefit according to the number of bedrooms you qualify for (according to the number of people in your household).

This can alll be a bit confusing :confused:, but you can find out more info on the changes here:
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/news/whats_new_feb13_welfare_benefits_changes.htm)

I’m interested to hear about the impact of these changes on you and your families. Will you have to make changes to your lifestyle, budget or future plans because of the changes? What changes will you make and how will you adjust? How do you feel about the upcoming changes and how are you coping?

It would be great to hear your ideas and thoughts :)

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's very scary tbh. It's very unclear and it feels like those who have disabilities which are bad enough to be unable to work but are assessed as having the potential to be able to do supported work are being hit hardest. I only get £100 a week (not including HB) and without luxuries I'm £17 a week down. My council refuse to see that I need an overnight carer so I'm having to pay an extra £12 a week towards my rent. I think that cap is fine but if included HB that's pushed. My DLA is currently going to appeal but my disability related costs are huge and my current amount doesn't cover it. ATOS don't assess people properly and every time I've been assessed I take it to tribunal and its overturned. It costs the DWP much more than if they just took GP assessments.

    I've now got no disposable income asides my overdraft. I'm going to be sliding into debt quicker that I can speak. I already have £300 of utility bills to pay off, and a house to do up because the council have left it in such a state.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The bedroom tax is stupid and probably won't save any money. Plus it's putting already strained people in an even worse of situation. And there is now a major shortage of smaller council properties. Luckily I'm private as for as our house is concerned. But my disabled partner just lost is DLA and I lost my carers allowance, even though he can barely walk and is in constant, horrific pain.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Crisis loans, budgeting loans and community care grants no longer exist. You need to go to your local council for support...

    Council tax benefit is now at the discretion of councils...

    If you've been unemployed for six months and find a job, you are no longer entitled to £100 job grant.

    If the Tories get in again, they will be cutting housing benefits completely for under 25s.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Which will leave all care leavers homeless! What about disabled young people? I just don't understand it, it's like they have no idea of the world outside of their privileged bubble.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    Which will leave all care leavers homeless! What about disabled young people? I just don't understand it, it's like they have no idea of the world outside of their privileged bubble.
    And young LGBTQ people, young people escaping violence, young prison leavers... The single room rate already is affecting people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's messed me up hugely. If I wasn't in social housing I would be stuffed and I'd be pretty much confined to my room cos of my illness. I really don't think they have a clue. I might miss out on the under 25 cut cos I'm turning 24 this year, but I can't look at the news anymore cos it just scares me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    It's messed me up hugely. If I wasn't in social housing I would be stuffed and I'd be pretty much confined to my room cos of my illness. I really don't think they have a clue. I might miss out on the under 25 cut cos I'm turning 24 this year, but I can't look at the news anymore cos it just scares me.
    There may be exceptions for certain groups of people... But yeah, the changes are shit
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    if the benefit increase is supposed to be 1%, why did JSA go from £71.00 to £71.70, not £71.71 - that's only a 0.99% rise...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In the words of tesco "every little helps (line the treasury's coffers)".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a horrible, horrible goverment. Maybe they should spend more time on the work shy than the vulnerable and disabled. They'd certainly save more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey again guys,
    Great to see the discussion ongoing.
    You might like to see the new/updated articles on theSite.org for more information.

    Housing Benefit (including Universal Credit/Bedroom Tax/Benefit Cap) - http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/money/benefitsandtax/housingbenefit

    Universal Credit - http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/money/benefitsandtax/universalcredit

    Council Tax Benefit - http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/money/benefitsandtax/counciltaxbenefit

    Cheers
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a horrible, horrible goverment. Maybe they should spend more time on the work shy than the vulnerable and disabled. They'd certainly save more.
    We'd save even more cutting back on things like Trident.

    The whole "workshy" is a nasty myth from right wing governments who would be rid of the "welfare state" tomorrow if they didn't fear reprocussions.

    There are more unemployed than jobs and most of these people want to work - some are severely disadvantaged, some are forced on to Jobseekers Allowance when they are too sick...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Trident is actually quite an interesting bit of kit, American kit at that, but quite interesting.


    Sent from my whyayePad using Tapatalk
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is the best explanation i have found so far - http://www.rethink.org/document.rm?id=15202
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh and I've suddenly just had a final notification of rent arrears of £25 ish because of the bedroom tax.

    All this shit, and the demonisation of the disabled that the government have caused is driving me to the edge.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    Oh and I've suddenly just had a final notification of rent arrears of £25 ish because of the bedroom tax.

    :(

    Wish I had some happier news but we've also just heard about this: https://www.gov.uk/civil-penalty-changes-affect-benefits

    If you have a change of circumstances it can affect your benefits but if you don't let them know and get overpaid as a result then they're whacking on a £50 'civil penalty' as well :eek2:

    Worth being aware of!
  • *Seany**Seany* Moddin' Posts: 51
    Also worth pointing this out.

    Essentially, if for any reason you fail to declare a change in circumstances that affects your benefits, you could be made to pay a £50 civil penalty on top of any repayments of overpaid benefits you might have to make.

    We'll be updating our content relating to benefits to reflect this in the next 2 weeks or so.

    EDIT: oops! Hadn't refreshed my page between opening the thread and Jo7's post! Great minds ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh FFS!!

    What about when the local council don't update their system quick enough so you get overpaid? Like they have with me twice!!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also, if you have a shortfall in your rent you may be able to apply for Discretionary Housing Payment to help. It's not guaranteed you will get it and it is normally limited for a certain period of time. Check out your council's website for how to apply. http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/housing_benefit_and_local_housing_allowance/discretionary_housing_payments
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey everyone,

    Turn2us have a useful timeline on their website: here.

    It maps out when each change is coming into force from now until 2016. You can filter this to view the benefits that affect you. You can also sign up to get email alerts when a specific benefit changes.
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