You may have heard about the changes that the Government is making to the welfare benefits system. The way that benefits are paid and how much benefit you are entitled to is changing.
The main changes are:
- Universal credit
- The benefit cap
- Bedroom tax
- Housing benefit
- Council tax benefit
- Disability living allowance
- Tax credits
Under universal credit, your benefits will be paid directly in to your bank account each month (in arrears). Payments will include housing costs; this is replacing housing benefit and will no longer be paid directly to your landlord. This means that you must have a bank account and you will be responsible for paying your rent.
We are encouraging all our residents to set up a Direct Debit with us to make sure your rent is paid on time, every time. Please call our Housing Team on 0117 942 4600 (select option 2) to set up a Direct Debit. You can choose to pay weekly, fortnightly, 4 weekly or monthly and on any day that you prefer.
The changes will affect many of you so it is important that you are aware of the changes and prepare for them.
There is lots of useful information about the welfare reform on the Citizens Advice Bureau’s website.
Here is a short film to introduce the support that’s available with universal credit to help you manage your money.
The Department for Work and Pensions has also commissioned six interactive e-learning modules which help unemployed claimants prepare for Universal Credit and getting a job. With partnership support this information is now accessible to all claimants (including those not currently claiming Universal Credit i.e. JSA, ESA, Income Support) via the internet, through Prospects website. Support is provided by the National Careers Service where required.
Accessing the Modules These modules are online at NCS Interactive Modules.