Dates of Changes to the Welfare system

Since 2013 the Government has made changes to the country's welfare system which have affected many of households in Nottingham which claim benefits. More changes are to be made over the next few years which will affect both working and out of work households. If you think you might be affected, we want to make sure you know about the changes that have and will come into effect.

Whether you are worried about your job, the mortgage, getting into debt and benefits or if need advice and support:

Further support is available from Advice Nottingham. Please visit Advice Nottingham or pop in to your local advice centre:

Alternatively you could visit www.direct.gov.uk or Nottingham City Council's Welfare Rights Service

Below is an approximate timescale for the changes which have been confirmed so far, this will be updated as more changes are announced and timescales are confirmed. For more details on the changes, see the Booklet above  

Year 2016

Universal Credit

Change: From the 15th of February new claimants aged 18 to 60.5 in Nottingham who are single and have no dependent children and who would previously have claimed Job Seekers Allowance, will begin to claim Universal Credit. Once someone begins a Universal Credit claim, they will continue to claim UC even if their situation changes i.e. they find work; have children etc

From April 2016 changes will be made to Universal Credit which will make it less generous for working claimants. The amount a claimant can earn before their benefit payment starts to fall will be reduced and the rate at which the payment falls will increase. From April 2017, payments to support children will also reduce and will be limited to two children.

National Living Wage

Change: The National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour will be introduced in April for people aged 25 and over. Younger people will continue to be paid at the lower National Minimum Wage.

Benefits Freeze

Change: The rate at which certain benefits are paid will be frozen at their current level. The benefits affected are: Tax Credits; Housing Benefit; Child Benefit; Job Seekers Allowance; Employment and Support Allowance (Work Related Activity Group only); Income Support for Lone Parents and Universal Credit.

Previous and Ongoing changes

Benefit Cap

Change: Households where no one works can claim a maximum of £26,000 per year in benefits (Maximum of £18,200 for single people). Households who were previously entitled to more than this amount have their Housing Benefit reduced to meet the Cap. Further changes are expected in 2016 to reduce the Cap to £20,000 per year for families and £13,400 for single people in Nottingham but a date for this change hasn't been announced yet.

Child Benefit

Change: Families will not be entitled to Child Benefit if there is a high-rate tax payer in the household.

Council Tax Support

Change: Council Tax Benefit has been replaced by Council Tax Support. The amount of money the City Council receives to help people with their Council Tax has been reduced. The new Council Tax Support scheme means all households in the City now have to pay at least a part of their Council Tax bill.

More details on Council Tax Support and to check your entitlement to support.

Disability Living Allowance

Change: The government has replaced DLA with a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

This will involve the introduction of 'objective assessments' to decide eligibility. The stated intention is to target support on 'those most in need' through this new benefit.

New claimants now apply for PIP and existing DLA claimants are gradually being reassessed for the new benefit.

Housing Benefit

Change: The "Bedroom Tax" was introduced which means people receive less Housing Benefit if they have more bedrooms than their household needs.

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