Some residents currently receiving Housing Benefit may find they get less money as of this month as the impact of Government changes to benefits take effect.
The change will see the introduction of a lower weekly limit (known as the Overall Benefit Cap or OBC) 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 welfare 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
- Guardian's Allowance
The cap does not apply to claimants who are working sufficient hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Welfare Reform, said:
"The majority of our residents who receive support for their housing costs are in work. This is just bad policy - in reality, these cuts do nothing to address the deficit, and only serve to make life harder for those who can least afford it. The government knows this and should think again before needlessly punishing hard working people."