A basic round up for all UK Private Rental Sector (PRS) landlords of what is and what will be happening to affect tenants that are in reciept of benefits during the 2013 Welfare Reforms.
Council Tax Benefit – April 2013
- Local authorities will become responsible for their own Council Tax schemes under the welfare reforms. Anyone of working age will now have to contribute towards their own council tax – All PRS tenants should have received a letter from their local authority if this affects them.
Disability Living Allowance
- This benefit is being replaced by Personal Independence Payments.
- All new and existing claimants will be reassessed using stricter rules so fewer people will qualify. The new assessment will focus on an individual’s ability to carry out a range of key activities necessary to everyday life.
- Housing Benefits will be reduced if your tenant has a non-dependent person living there.
The Social Fund
- Local authorities will run their own schemes to provide emergency funding for vulnerable people.
- Under Occupation for Tenants in Council Properties or Social Housing
- Tenants with more bedrooms than they need will receive 14% less Housing Benefit for one extra bedroom, 25% less benefit for two or more empty bedrooms from April, under the government welfare reforms.
Benefit Cap – Summer 2013
- A cap on the maximum amount of benefit that people can receive. £350.00 a week for single adults, £500.00 a week for couples and lone parents. The cap is being tested in London from April, and is expected to be nationwide by the end of September.
Universal Credit – October 2013
- A number of out of work benefits are being brought together into one single payment under welfare reforms.
Claims will have to be made and accessed online.
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)
- This is a temporary payment that is given to people in very specific circumstances. The way DHP is assessed has changed slightly and the government has increased the amount of money available for two priority groups: foster carers and disabled people living in significantly adapted accommodation, who don’t have enough income to pay the under occupation charge. Whilst their applications will be prioritised, they will still be assessed on their income and expenditure and a DHP is not guaranteed. Other people outside of these groups can still apply and each case will be assessed individually.
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