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Welfare Reform

The government is making major changes to how the welfare benefits system works. The changes may affect the benefit you get and the way you pay your rent.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) was introduced in West Lancashire by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) from 15 September 2014.  Find more information on the Universal Credit pages of this site or on gov.uk Universal Credit (external link).

It is a new benefit that replaces a range of benefits and tax credits for people of working age.

UC replaces six benefits including tax credits and puts them into a single monthly payment.  It will apply to people of working age in or out of work. It does not apply to pensioners. Council Tax support is not affected by UC.

Universal Credit replaces

  • Income based job seekers allowance
  • Income related employment support allowance
  • Income support
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Housing benefit

Under occupation

If you are aged between 16 and pension credit age and have spare bedrooms your housing benefit will be reduced.

Where you have one spare bedroom your housing benefit will be reduced by 14% of your gross rent. If you are under-occupying by two or more bedrooms then your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 25% of your gross rent.

For more detailed information regarding under occupation and how this affects your benefits please visit the housing benefits section of this website.

Other changes

There are a number of other benefit changes due to take place over the coming years. To find out more visit turn2us (external link).