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 will 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 before they happen.
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.
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
Change: From the 15th of February new claimants aged 18 to 60 in Nottingham who are single and have no dependent children and who would previously have claimed Job Seekers Allowance, now 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 have been 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 has been reduced and the rate at which the payment falls will increase. From April 2017, payments to support children has also reduced and is limited to two children.
National Living Wage
Change: £8.21 is now the National Living wage for people aged 25 and over. Younger people will continue to be paid at the lower National Minimum Wage.
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
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 mean that the Cap is reduced to £20,000 per year for families and £13,400 for single people in Nottingham.
Change: Families will not be entitled to Child Benefit if there is a high-rate taxpayer 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.
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 aim 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.
Change: The "Bedroom Tax" was introduced which means people receive less Housing Benefit if they have more bedrooms than their household needs.