Housing Benefit Advice for Organisations and Partners

The information here is for any organisation supporting and assisting Doncaster residents.

The Benefit Cap

The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) introduced some changes to the benefit cap. This included changes to the benefit cap levels to £23,000 a year for couples with or without children and lone parents and £15,410 for single people without children in Greater London, and £20,000 and £13,400 respectively for those groups elsewhere in Great Britain. They also included additional exemptions for recipients of Guardian’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit claimants who receive payments towards carer’s costs.

The changes took effect on 7 November 2016 for previously capped cases and 9 January 2017 for new cases. Both the Department for Works and Pensions and the Housing Benefit section sent letters at that time to tell anyone affected by the change. 

For new cases affected by the Benefit Cap since then, the Department for Works and Pensions will write to tell them. We also write to tell people the changes to their Housing Benefit. 

Further information about the advice and support available to help people affected is below.

Benefit Cap Advice and Support leaflet
Download (1.22MB)

For more information about the benefit cap changes please visit www.Gov.UK/benefit-cap

 

Universal Credit

The government is bringing together a number of current means-tested working age benefits and tax credits into one single benefit to be known as Universal Credit.

These benefits include:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit was gradually rolled out across the country and was introduced in Doncaster from 28 September 2015 for new claims from most single people seeking work who would have previously claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance.  From 11 October 2017 it applied to all other groups making a new claim in Doncaster and from then eligibility to claim Housing Benefit has been limited. Currently only the following will be eligible to claim Housing Benefit:

  • If they are the qualifying age to claim Pension Credit*, or
  • They are living in supported or exempt accommodation, or
  • They are entitled to a Severe Disability Premium*. 

If the above do not apply; they need to claim Universal Credit to help with their rent. There is more information about claiming on the Gov.uk Universal Credit page. 

*If they are aged 65 or older you can use this link to check if you have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit on Gov.uk 

*They may be entitled to a Severe Disability Premium if:

  1. They live alone, and
  2. No-one receives Carer’s Allowance or the Universal Credit carer element for caring for them, and
  3. They receive one of the following benefits;
    • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or higher rate
    • Personal Independence Payment daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate
    • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
    • Armed Forces Independent Payment

      4.  They may have the premium in an income benefit such as Income Support.

If they have to pay Council Tax for their home; they will still need to make a claim for Council Tax Reduction if they receive, or are making a claim for, Universal Credit. 

Full details about Universal Credit are available here.

Universal Credit FAQs
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Last updated: 12 March 2019 18:14:12