Understanding the benefit system isn’t easy

Benefits

First things first let's find out if you're claiming the correct benefits. Use our benefits calculator below to check what you're entitled to.

Benefits calculator
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Have a question?
What is Universal Credit?
How will Universal Credit be paid?
What is Bedroom Tax?
What is a Discretionary Housing Payment?
What is Bereavement Support Payment?
I need helping paying my council tax
What is Employment and Support Allowance?
Benefit changes to those 18-21 years old

Universal credit is a single monthly payment, for those in or out of work. It replaces the following benefits and tax credits this year; housing benefit, income support (IS), jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), employment and support allowance (ESA), child tax credit and working tax credit.

If you currently claim any of the above benefits, you will continue to receive them until you are transferred on to universal credit. (We expect these transfers to start in 2020.)

It's paid into your bank account which means you'll now have to pay us directly.*

Paying your rent by direct debit as soon as you receive your monthly payment is the easiest and most popular option. Why not contact your Income Officer who will be able to help you set up a direct debit or advise on other payment methods.

*Some people may be able to get their housing costs paid directly to their landlord.

If you live in a property with empty bedrooms, you might be asked to move to a smaller property or pay a ‘bedroom tax’.

At the moment, if you have one spare bedroom your housing benefit will be cut by 14%. If you have two or more bedrooms it will be cut by 25%.

You won’t have to pay ‘bedroom tax’ if your bedrooms are used by the following; an adult couple, a person over 16, a disabled child who cannot share a bedroom with another child because of their disability, two children of the same sex under 16, two children under 10 regardless of their sex any other child.

It's a one-off payment, to help with your housing costs. You can apply for a DHP if you can’t afford your rent due to bedroom tax or benefit caps. You can also apply if you need help with a deposit, advanced rent or removal expenses.

DHP is usually offered short-term and is not a permanent benefit.

Bereavement support payment is a single payment of £2,500, and 18 monthly payments of £100, after the death of a spouse.

If you have children the single payment rises to £3,500 with monthly payments of £350.

If you are struggling to pay your council tax you might be eligible for a ‘council tax reduction’.

The council tax reduction is available to those on a low income or claiming benefits. It could reduce your council tax by up to 100%. Find out more from your local council.

From 3 April 2017 new ESA claimants, who are put into the work related activity group, won’t receive the extra £29.05 per week.

They will receive the same level of benefits as JSA claimants which is £73.10 per week.

Universal credit claimants between 18 and 21 years old, will now have to apply for an apprenticeship, gain work experience or take part in a work placement. They must start their training at least six month after their claim.

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