On 8 March 2012 the UK Governments Welfare Reform Act 2012 was approved. The changes introduced to welfare are designed to simplify the benefit system and encourage people into employment.
There is a limit on the amount of benefit most people aged 16 to 64 can receive. This is called the ‘benefit cap’. For further information about the benefit cap, including a benefit cap calculator visit the GOV.UK website.
Depending on whether you are a private tenant or a council or housing association tenant, housing benefits are paid using two different schemes:
Universal credit is a new single means-tested support for working age people who are both in and out of work. Universal Credit will combine six existing benefits and tax credits into one single payment.
It will replace the following benefits:
- Income related JSA
- Income related ESA
- Income support
- Working tax credits
- Child tax credits
- Housing benefits
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently provided details of the Universal Credit national expansion across Jobcentre areas. Universal Credit is coming to the Caerphilly county borough on 5 September 2018. Click here for details.
For more detail on the roll out and Universal Credit you can visit GOV.UK website or visit your local Jobcentre Plus.
Personal Independence Payment
Since April 2013 a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Allowance has gradually been introduced to replace Disability Living Allowance for those aged 16-64.
More information about the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and how the changes are being introduced can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)
Providing support with council tax payments is the responsibility of the Welsh Government who have introduced a national scheme called the ‘Council Tax Reduction Scheme’ which Caerphilly council have adopted.
Although funding to support council tax payments for those who qualify from the UK Government has been reduced, the Welsh Government have met the shortfall to date. This will ensure that those eligible will continue to receive up to 100% of the agreed entitlement for the next two years. Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website.
To apply for support visit the make a claim section.
Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF)
The Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) in Wales replaces parts of the Social Fund previously run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). You may know it as 'crisis loans' or 'community care grants'.
You can apply for a DAF payment if you do not have any other means of paying for what you need. They are to meet one-off costs rather than on-going expenses.
The fund offers grant payments or support for two purposes:
- Emergency Assistance Payments to provide you with help in an emergency or when there is an immediate threat to you or someone in your family's health or wellbeing.
- Individual assistance payments to help you or someone you care for to live independently in the community and prevent the need for institutional care.
To find out more and how to apply visit the Money Made Clear Wales website.