SB Connect Winter 2016

Further changes to benefits come into force

Major changes to welfare benefits have come into force over the last few years, the most recent on 7 November with a reduction to the benefit cap.

This is a limit on the total amount someone can receive from benefits, although some benefits are excluded. If your total income from benefits is more than the cap level, your housing benefit or Universal Credit will be reduced.

The amount of the benefit cap has reduced from £500 to £384.62 per week for couples and lone parents and £350 to £257.69 per week for single people.

The benefit cap will not apply to everyone, including claimants who receive Working Tax Credit, those in the Support Group of Employment and Support Allowance and people who receive Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

Further welfare reform changes are expected from April 2017.

It is expected that the full Universal Credit service will be implemented during 2017 in the Scottish Borders.

Universal Credit is a new benefit for people on a low income who are in or out of work. It will replace Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit (for people of working age) and Tax Credits.

Currently in the Scottish Borders only single jobseekers can claim. It is paid monthly, and in most circumstances the claimant is responsible for paying rent to their landlord.

For information or advice, contact the Welfare Benefits Service on 01896 661394 or email wbs@scotborders.gcsx.gov.uk. More information can also be found on www.direct.gov.uk/benefits

Did you know...?

Our Welfare Benefits Service helped generate income gains of £8.6m in 2015/16, assisting 2,754 people with disabilities or low income