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Welfare Reform - coping with the changes

The government is in the process of making very significant changes to the benefits and tax credits system. This is bringing a great deal of uncertainty and fear for many people under pension age who receive help with everyday living costs from the Government.

 

The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) introduces some changes to the benefit cap. These changes, which will take effect in autumn 2016, include 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 include additional exemptions for recipients of Guardian's Allowance, Carer's Allowance and Universal Credit claimants who receive payments towards carer's costs.

 

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

 

 

I have been told that I have to pay some Council Tax.  Is this right as I have never paid it before?

Yes, all tax payers of working age must pay at least 25% of their council tax.

Click here for further information regarding the Council Tax Support scheme

If you would like to apply for Council Tax Support please call us on 01237 428700 and ask for the benefits team.

If you are having difficulty paying your council tax and/or wish to discuss payment arrangements please call 01237 428900.

Citizens advice

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

I have been told my benefit is going to be capped.  What does this mean?

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 made provision for the introduction of a cap on the total amount of certain benefits to which working age people can be entitled. 

If you would like further information regarding this

You can phone the Council on 01237 428700 and ask for the benefits team.

You can visit one of the Council's offices or visit the Council's website.

Other websites that can provide you with further information are:

www.gov.uk/benefit-cap

Citizens advice

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

My Housing Association says I am 'under-occupying' my house and will have to pay some rent.  Is this right?

Yes, that could be possible if you are considered 'over accommodated'.

If you would like further information regarding this

You can phone the Council on 01237 428700 and ask for the benefits team.

You can visit one of the Council's offices or visit the Council' website.

Citizens Advice

Shelter  088 800 4444

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

Where do I get money management and debt advice from?

Citizens Advice

I cannot keep track of money or I am worried that I might not be able to manage my money over a month...

The Money Advice Service  0300 500 5000

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

Citizens Advice

I often run out of money or end up borrowing money to cover living expenses.

The Money Advice Service  0300 500 5000

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

Citizens Advice

Credit Union 01837 658123

National Debtline  0808 808 4000

I cannot cope with my bills and I am getting into debt

The Money Advice Service  0300 500 5000

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

Citizens Advice

Credit Union 01837 658123

National Debtline  0808 808 4000

StepChange Debt Charity

StepChange Debt Charity is a registered charity offering free, confidential advice and support to anyone who is worried about debt.  StepChange Debt Charity has:

  • a free phone helpline on 0800 138 1111 where you can speak to a debt counsellor.
  • a website where you can get information on how to deal with your debt problems www.stepchange.org
  • an online debt remedy tool.  This asks you a series of questions about your household, income and expenditure and then provides you with a debt remedy tailored to your personal circumstances

I cannot seem to pay my bills on time and I get warning letters and summonses

The Money Advice Service  0300 500 5000

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

Citizens Advice

Credit Union 01837 658123

National Debtline  0808 808 4000

The Insolvency Service Enquiry line  0845 602 9848

I am really worried about my benefits and how the changes might affect me

Department of Work & Pensions

Citizens Advice

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Turn2us Benefits Calculator.  This easy-to-use calculator may be of help to you if you are unemployed and looking for work, on a low income, retired, bringing up children, ill, have a disability or care for someone.

Use the simple benefits calculator to work out how much you could claim.

I currently get Disability Living Allowance or care for someone who gets Disability Living Allowance and I hear it is changing to Personal Independence Payment.  What does it mean for me?

www.gov.uk/pip

Citizens Advice

Disability Rights UK  020 7250 3222

Carers Direct  0808 802 0202

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

I have had a medical reassessment  as I am ill and have been told that I will be transferred to Employment Support Allowance.  What does this mean?

Citizens Advice

Disability Rights UK  020 7250 3222

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

What is universal credit and how will it affect me?

www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Citizens Advice

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

I want to get back into work but I am worried I am going to lose all my benefits.

www.gov.uk/browse/benefits

Citizens Advice

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Turn2us Benefits Calculator.  This easy-to-use calculator may be of help to you if you are unemployed and looking for work, on a low income, retired, bringing up children, ill, have a disability or care for someone.

Use the simple benefits calculator to work out how much you could claim.

I am self employed.  Can I get any help?

www.gov.uk/browse/benefits

Citizens Advice

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Turn2us Benefits Calculator.  This easy-to-use calculator may be of help to you if you are unemployed and looking for work, on a low income, retired, bringing up children, ill, have a disability or care for someone.

Use the simple benefits calculator to work out how much you could claim.

I am on a zero hours contract or seasonal contract.  How will the change to Universal Credit affect me?

www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Citizens Advice

Devon Advise Network (DAN)

CAB Devon  08444 111 444

Trades Union Congress   020 7636 4030

My issue is not listed here.  Where can I go for more information?

Citizens Advice

CAB Devon  08444 111 444