Changes to benefits
Summer Budget 2015 – what it means to you
The government has made changes to the welfare benefits system that could have an impact on you. Here some of the changes that will be implemented following the recent announcement of the Summer budget:
- From April 2016 Housing Benefit will only be backdated to a maximum of four weeks. (currently the system allows 6 months for working age and 3 months for pension age)
- Benefit rates will be frozen for 4 years from April 2016. (this includes working age benefits and tax credits)
- From April 2017 those out of work aged 18-21 year olds, making new claims for Universal Credit will no longer receive the housing element to pay their rent. (this does not include people with children or vulnerable groups, and those working 6 months prior to claiming and living independently will be exempt)
- Tax credits and Universal Credit will be limited to two children. Any families who have subsequent children born after April 2017 will not receive further support. This also applies to Housing Benefit from April 2017.
- The benefit cap currently set at £26,000 a year will be lowered to £20,000 (or £23,000 in London). A family currently receiving £500 per week in benefits will only receive £384.62. There is yet to be a date that this will come into force.
If you have concerns or questions about these changes then please contact the Welfare and Benefit advice team on 0300 3300 900.