Changes to housing benefit
The Government is planning to make significant changes to welfare payments including housing benefit. Many of the details have not been finalised but, based on what ministers have said they want to do, this is what we would expect to happen if their proposals become law:

· Deductions from housing benefit for non-claiming adults in the household have already been increased and will continue to do so each year to 2014.

From April 2013:

· If you are of working age and living in a council or housing association home that is larger than your household size (eg a couple living in a two bedroom home) you will lose part of your housing benefit.

· The overall amount of benefit an out-of-work household can receive will be capped at the average earnings of a working household (expected to be in the region of £500 per week). Households with someone claiming Disability Living Allowance or Working Tax Credit, or with a war widow, will be exempt from the cap.

· New benefit claimants will receive a single payment of Universal Credit instead of separate payments for housing, income support, Jobseeker’s Allowance and tax credits. Existing claimants will be moved across to the new Credit between 2013 and 2017.

· The housing benefit part of the new Credit may be paid directly to you, rather than to your landlord, leaving you responsible for making sure your rent is paid.

· Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans, currently administered on a national basis, will be abolished and replaced with local authority schemes.



OR Take OTHER action You can email or write to your MP to raise your concerns about these changes. The National Housing Federation has produced a message you can use, which you can find at
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