Universal Credit and Benefit cap


Here is some info on the changes to benefits from the introduction of Universal Credit and the Benefit cap, and how you may be effected by these changes.

Universal Credit:

From October 2013 the following benefits will become Universal Credit:

  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Tax Credits


  • Universal Credit will be paid in one payment, each month, in arrears.  This includes your Housing Benefit payment.
  • It will be paid to ONE member of the household.
  • All payments MUST be paid into a bank/building society or post office account.
  • Claimants will be responsible for managing ALL of their own money.


It will be phased in:

  • Between October 2013 and March 2014.
  • From then, changes in circumstances and new claims will be treated as Universal Credit claims.
  • From April 2014, existing claimants will begin to be moved to Universal Credit. This is expected to last until 2017.


Comments of the introduction of Universal Credit:

The vast majority of families will gain nothing from the introduction of the Universal Credit, the Government’s flagship welfare reform scheme, a report claims.

A trial of the payment, which replaces six benefits and tax credits, began this month ahead of its introduction worldwide.

In a joint report, the TUC and Child Poverty Action Group said nine out of 10 families will gain nothing overall from the new system, with any gains wiped out by recent benefits cuts. They claimed that disabled claimants in low-paid jobs could lose as much as £2,800 a year.

They also warned that requiring applicants to claim online and to make joint claims with their partners would complicate the process at a time when advice services are being cut.

Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: “For all the claims of simplicity, in practice it is such a complex system that the Government has been forced to delay its roll-out.”


Benefit Cap:

Does not apply to claimants of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • War Widow’s pension
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Support component of E.S.A

The Cap:

  • In effect from 2013
  • £350 per week for single claimants
  • £500 per week for families
  • Will mainly effect larger families
  • Will cause £12-70 reduction in housing benefit (in some cases more)


Changes to Council Tax Benefit:

  • From April 2013, national Council Tax Benefit scheme to be replaced by local authority scheme
  • Council budget reduced by 10%
  • Pensioners are NOT effected
  • You will be asked to pay between 5-30% of your own Council Tax
  • Will mainly effect working age claimants




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