Make sure you're aware of how welfare changes over the past few years may have affected you.
Under-occupation penalty (also known as bedroom tax)
If you live in council or housing association properties, and have an unoccupied room in your house, this could reduce the amount of benefit you receive.
The benefit cap is a limit on the amount of benefits you can receive. It may apply if you or your partner are working age and you receive Housing Benefit or the Universal Credit housing element.
If you live in Camden, the cap is:
- £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you’re in a couple, whether your children live with you or not
- £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you’re single and your children live with you
- £296.35 per week (£15,410 a year) if you’re single and you do not have children, or your children do not live with you
Discretionary Housing Payment
If you are affected by the under occupancy charge or benefit cap and you are struggling financially, you can apply for discretionary housing payment .
Removal of Limited Capability for Work payment
Prior to 3 April 2017 there were 2 capability for work elements to Universal Credit:
- limited capability for work element
- limited capability for work and work related activity element
The limited capability for work element (point 1) has now been removed. This change does not affect everyone.
Limiting support for third or subsequent child
The government has introduced a 2 child limit into Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and Universal Credit. This does not affect entitlement to Child Benefit.
If you have 2 or more children and become responsible for another child on or after 6 April 2017, you may not see an increase in benefits. There are exceptions, such as if you or your child has certain disabilities.