Benefits changes

The Government is changing benefits

Key changes to benefits and how they will affect you

Some changes to benefits have already been introduced, but there are further changes coming.

On 15 April 2013, the Government brought in a benefits cap on the total amount of benefits that some individuals and households can receive. There are exemptions, but the cap will affect many working age people in the borough. If you are not exempt and your current combined benefits are more than the cap, your weekly payments will be pegged to the national average weekly wage.

Unless you are retired or unable to work all your benefits will be replaced by Universal Credit from October 2013.

From June 2013, new claims for disability benefit will be assessed for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – a new benefit for eligible working-age people. Between October 2013 and March 2016 the Government will write to existing Disability Living Allowance claimants to invite them to make a claim for PIP.

All the information you need about these changes, how they may affect you, and what you need to do and when can be found in the sections below.

Many people will have seen the amount of benefit they receive reduced, or may do over the coming year. For advice on planning your finances, you can contact the Haringey Citizens Advice Bureau (external link) or the London Capital Credit Union.

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These changes have already taken effect

  • Council Tax Benefit was replaced by the Council Tax Reduction Scheme on 1 April 2013, and if you are of working age and assessed as able to work, you are expected to make some contribution to your benefit, regardless of your income
  • Reductions in Housing Benefit for those who live in social housing and have one or more spare bedroom came into force on 1 April 2013. If your household has one spare bedroom, the cut will have been equal to 14% of your rent. If you have two or more spare bedrooms, the cut will have been equal to 25% of the rent for your property. Some people are exempt from the change
  • On 7 January 2013, Child Benefit was withdrawn from or reduced for higher earners. Parents earning £60,000 per year or more no longer receive Child Benefit. Those earning £50,000 per year or more saw their benefit reduced. For more information see the GOV.UK website (external link)

See the following pages for more about the changes taking place:

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