Changes to Housing Benefits and Welfare Reforms

If you claim housing benefit to help pay your rent you may be affected by the new changes that are being introduced from April 2013 under the new Welfare Reforms.  The changes mean that people may get less housing benefit than they currently do.

The changes include:

  • From April 2013, if you have more bedrooms than you need in your home, your housing benefit might be reduced and you may have to pay some of the rent yourself.  This does not apply to people who are of state pension age at April 2013.
  • From April 2013, there will be a replacement for Council Tax benefit.
  • From April 2013, the total amount of benefit payable to claimants will be capped at £18,200 per year for single people to £26,000 per year for couples.
  • In stages from October 2013 until 2017, all means tested benefits including housing benefit will be included in one monthly benefit payment called Universal Credit which will get paid straight to the claimant.

For more information on these changes you can:

  • visit our main web page on Welfare Reforms which will be updated regularly;
  • find help with welfare change with the Welfare Map
  • contact our Benefits section on 01343 563456 or 0300 123 4566;
  • contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on 01343 55 00 88;
  • contact the Government's Information Line on 0845 605 7064;
  • contact your Area Housing Officer on 0300 123 4566 to discuss your housing options; or
  • view the Universal Credit and other benefits toolkit on the Money Advice Service website.

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