Some residents currently receiving Housing Benefit may find they get less money from November 2016 as further government changes to benefits begin to take effect.
The change will see the introduction of a lower weekly limit (known as the Overall Benefit Cap) for the total amount of welfare benefits that can be received by a household.
Couples, families and single parents living in London and receiving Housing Benefit will, unless exempt, only be able to receive up to £442.31 per week in total benefits. A single person will only be able to receive up to £296.35. If more than this amount is received, Housing Benefit will be reduced to bring it into line with the new cap level.
The following benefits will be added together to calculate the total amount of weekly welfare benefits received:
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Job Seeker's Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance (except where it is paid with the support component)
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Maternity Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Widowed Parent's and Widowed Mother's Allowance
- Widow's Pension
- Bereavement Allowance
If any of the following benefits are received, the cap will not apply.
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- The support component of Employment and Support Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Benefit and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- War Widow or War Widower's Pension
- Carer's Allowance*
- Guardian's Allowance*
* These are intended to be included in the list of exemptions from the autumn of this year.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
"Losing £50 per week may not seem like a huge loss to some people, but to others it is a significant sum of money. It can mean the difference between being able to put food on the table or going hungry, between paying the rent or becoming homeless.
"If you think you may be affected by these changes, consider your options and take action now. Some of the things you could do to avoid the cap include finding work or increasing your hours of work; applying for working tax credit or finding more affordable accommodation.
"Further help is also available from Brent Start who can offer short courses tailored to meet your needs as well as courses designed to help you into work, including CV writing and interview preparation. For further information, please call 0208 937 3950.
"Additionally, Brent Works can also provide assistance by helping you find work as they have access to details of current vacancies and work available with employers in Brent. They can also assist you with interview techniques. For further information please call 020 8903 6825 or email firstname.lastname@example.org."
Further information about the changes and access to a Benefit calculator that can show how much better off a resident may be through finding work or increasing their hours of work can be obtained by visiting our Benefits pages.
Benefits are changing. So don't delay! Act today!