Central government has made significant changes to the benefits system. This means that if you receive benefits, the amount you get may have been reduced.
Social sector size criteria/removal of spare room subsidy
In April 2013 the Government introduced the Social Sector Size Criteria. This meant that most people under pension age living in council or housing association properties, and who are considered to be under-occupying receive less Housing Benefit. This change is now called the removal of the spare room subsidy.
If you are affected you will be informed and offered advice on your options.
Find out more: Money Advice Service (MAS) website
In 2013 the government rolled out a cap on the total amount of benefit a working age household can receive. The cap was applied in Camden in August 2013 it is set at £500 a week for families and £350 a week for single people. (There are some exceptions, mainly people claiming Working Tax Credits or disability benefits.) Councils have to reduce Housing Benefit payments until the cap is reached.
Find out more: www.gov.uk/benefit-cap
Local Welfare Assistance
From April 2013, the Government was no longer responsible for paying Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans (they still deal with budgeting loans). Now local authorities are able to provide some grants and emergency payments for people in need.
Camden Council offers similar benefits as part of our local welfare assistance arrangements. Awards are discretionary and there is a limited amount of money available, so not everyone who applies will be successful.
Find out more: Local welfare assistance
Council Tax Reduction Scheme
The Council Tax Benefit scheme ended on 1 April 2013. Councils were required to put in place local Council Tax Support schemes. Camden has decided that all council tax payers of working age now have to make a contribution towards the tax, even if they have not had to pay anything until now. People of Pension Credit Age are protected.
Find out more: Council Tax Reduction Scheme
Personal Independence Payment
Over the next few years the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is gradually being replaced for claimants between the ages of 16 and 64 with a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This involves different assessment criteria to decide who is eligible. PIP is for all new claimants over the age of 16, and everyone of working age in receipt of DLA will eventually be reassessed.
Find out more: Personal Independence Payments