Welfare benefit changes

welfarechangesThese changes are part of a package of reforms to the tax and benefit system this government is making - dismantling entitlements to social security and welfare support and attacking some of the poorest people in our society.

Many more people are being pushed into poverty because of what this government is doing.

More information can be found in the leaflets below and any further changes to the details documented here, can be found here

This timeline only includes the most significant changes for our members. It does not cover changes to pension credits.

Type Name Size
Link Type Icon Universal credit: are you prepared? 0.48Mb
Link Type Icon Benefit cap: are you prepared? 0.46Mb
Link Type Icon Bedroom Tax: are you prepared? 0.48Mb
Link Type Icon Council Tax Benefit: are you prepared? 0.48Mb
Link Type Icon Disability Living Allowance: are you prepared? 0.52Mb

Timetable of benefit changes

January 2011 

‘Employment and Support Allowance’ (ESA) replaces incapacity benefit (IB) and income support on the basis of illness and disability.

People will be moved onto ESA from other disability benefits until March 2014
104 week linking rule abolished
– previously an IB claimant could try working, and if their condition or circumstances changed and they left employment within 104 weeks they would return to previous benefit at the same rate. Now they will need to reapply and be reassessed. 

January 2012 

Housing Benefit age threshold for shared accommodation rate changed from 25 to 35 (exclusions for some groups including disabled people, ex-offenders potentially risking others, and some ex-homeless people)
People will be moved onto new rate until Jan 2013 

April 2012 

Housing Benefit Local Housing Allowance rates frozen – Maximum in any area:
£250 for a one-bedroom property
£290 for a two-bedroom property
£340 for a three-bedroom property
£400 for a four-bedroom property. 

This calculator shows maximum amounts in different areas

Tax credit changes – earnings threshold reduced, and working hours increased for couples with children. See more information here >

May 2012

Contributions based ESA (Work Related Activity Group) claims limited to 1 year , including assessment period, then moved onto income based ESA if eligible. Income and savings are taken into account in income based ESA. Additionally income based ESA claimants can be mandated to the work programme.

Contributory ESA in youth to be abolished . Existing claimants will have their entitlement limited to one year from the time their entitlement began. People will be removed from this until April 2013.

Income Support for lone parents with youngest child is five or over stops and they are moved onto JSA.

June 2012 

Some Local Authorities and Housing Associations trial new Housing Benefit direct payments to tenants (until June 2013). The areas chosen for this are Southwark, Shropshire - West Midlands, Oxford, Wakefield, Torfaen – Wales 

Summer 2012 

Simple Payment Card introduced for people who can’t open or manage bank accounts. Benefits can be cashed at pay-point outlets 

October 2012 

Universal Credit (UC) regulations published 

April 2013 

Universal Credit piloted in pathfinder areas. The areas are Oldham, Tameside, Warrington and Wigan

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for new claims in the north of England – expected to be a 20% drop in claimants eligible for the new benefit. See more information here

Council Tax Benefit cut – 10% cut in the government subsidy for council tax benefit. See more information here

£26,000 benefit cap introduced by Local Authorities, £350 p.w. for single person, £500 for couple or lone parent – see more information here

Bedroom tax introduced – those living in social housing and claiming Housing Benefit will have 14% of HB deducted for first extra bedroom, 25% for second bedroom – see more information here

Housing Benefit (HB) Local Housing Allowance rates follow CPI instead of market rents – gradually eroding value of Housing Benefit, as inflation of prices for renting in the private sector increase far more quickly than CPI inflation measure. 

Tax Credits increase in income of £5,000 or over now accounted for in Tax Credit award – reduced from £10,000 

Social fund abolished and responsibility moved to LAssee more information here >

June 2013 

PIP replaces new DLA claims in rest of England. 

October 2013 

UC introduced for new claims DLA recipients with change of circumstances reassessed under PIP