Welfare Reform

How will you be affected by the changes to benefits?

The UK Government have set a plan to make changes to the benefit system which became law through the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

 

Some of the changes have already happened and some others will take effect very soon. The changes will affect almost everyone and we feel it is important for our tenants to find out as much information as possible about the changes that may have an impact on you. The information on our website and as provided by our staff is as up to date as far as we know at the time of publishing.

 

However, we cannot rule out the possibility that some of the Government’s plans may change, we will try to keep tenants and other service users updated with any further important changes that may be announced.

 

Please see the list below of details of the expected changes to the different benefits. Please read carefully to see which changes are likely to affect you.

 

Housing Benefit ‘bedroom tax’

 

What does it mean?

The UK Government have introduced a new rule called the spare room subsidy (bedroom tax) which is a penalty for an ‘under-occupied’ household. This came into effect on 1st April 2013. This rule means that a number of our tenants will lose some of their Housing Benefit entitlement.

 

Who is affected?

If you (or your partner) are of working age (under pension credit age) and your rent method is either full or partial housing benefit the amount that is paid could be reduced if you have one or more bedrooms than you need, as set by the UK Government.

 

The reduction is 14% for one ‘spare’ bedroom and 25% for 2 or more ‘spare’ bedrooms. To find out more information and to find out if you may have a spare bedroom please click here.

 

When do the changes to Bedroom Tax Start?

The changes to bedroom tax started April 1st 2013.

 

Disability Living Allowance

 

What does it mean?

As part of the UK Government's Welfare Reform Cuts, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working age people is coming to an end.

 

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been fully replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people aged 16 to 64 from 10 June 2013 for new claims only.

 

PIP includes an assessment of individual needs and aims to make sure financial support is targeted at those who face the greatest challenges to living independently. For more information please click here.

 

Who will it affect?

PIP is for people aged 16 to 64.  DLA remains for children up to the age of 16. From October 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact them as they approach 16 to explain what will happen.

 

When do the changes to DLA start?

New Claims - The changes to DLA started on 10th June 2013.

Existing Claims -The DWP have stated ‘From October 2013, anyone with a DLA award coming up for renewal, young people turning 16 or DLA claimants reporting a change in their health condition or disability, will be invited to claim PIP.  DWP will write to the remaining individuals at some point from October 2015 onwards to let them know when their DLA is due to end, and explain how they can make a claim to PIP.  All existing DLA claimants invited to claim PIP will be told what they need to do, and by when.

 

Universal Credit

From October 2013 the DWP plans to start introducing a new benefit called Universal Credit (UC). UC is intended eventually to replace all income related benefits and tax credits for people of working age, including Child tax credits, Housing Benefit, Income-related employment and support allowance, Income-based jobseekers allowance, Income support, Working tax credits.

 

We will continue to update you with new information on our website. Please note universal credits are expected to be paid into a bank account only. If you do not have a Bank Account, then you should ask for more information about this. There are a large range of bank accounts available and some may not be suitable for you. If you have been refused a bank account or think that you will have difficulty managing your money on a monthly basis please contact our Freephone number for advice 08000 46 38 12.

 

How can ng homes help?

We work in partnership with key organisations who offer services to our tenants who may need benefit and money advice, especially those who will have changes to their benefits based on the bedroom tax.  The services are:

 

Greater Easterhouse Money Advice Project (GEMAP)
GEMAP can offer free and confidential advice on all money matters including consumer debt e.g. Rent, Council Tax, Gas, Electricity and many more. We have a dedicated GEMAP advisor in each of our offices.  To make an appointment please call our receptions on 0141 560 6000 or 0141 336 1300

 

Scotcash
Scotcash offers affordable finance, money advice and can also set up a bank account for you. Scotcash’s loan officer is working full time from our offices. To make an appointment please call 0141 276 0525. 
Click here to see Scotcash’s Website.

 

Pollok Credit Union
Pollok Credit union provides a range of loans and savings products for its members. The Pollok Credit Union now have a branch in Possilpark at 264 Saracen Street, G22 5HJ. 
To join, visit the branch for more information or call 0141 880 7888. 
Click here to see Pollok Credit Union’s Website.

 

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