On 8 March 2012 the Welfare Reform Act received Royal Assent.
The Act legislates for the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years.
It introduces a wide range of reforms that will deliver the commitment made in the Coalition Agreement and the Queen's speech to make the benefits and tax credits systems fairer by:
- creating the right incentives to get more people into work by ensuring work always pays
- protecting the most vulnerable in our society
- delivering fairness to those claiming benefit and to the taxpayer
- simplifying the benefits system
Changes from 2013:
Under Occupied Accommodation - affects tenants of Council houses and Housing Associations.
Council Tax Reduction - replaces Council Tax Benefit.
Scottish welfare fund - replaces the discretionary Social Fund provided by Job Centre plus.
Personal Independence Payment - replaces Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16 to 64.
Benefit Cap - a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get.
Universal Credit - a new benefit that will replace 6 existing benefits, including Housing Benefit, with a monthly payment if you are out of work or on a low income.
Changes that have already happened include:
Effective from April 11 - affected tenants in the private rented sector
Effective from January 12 - affected single claimants aged under 35 years old in the private rented sector
Support and Assistance
The Welfare MAP provides details of services that can provide support and assistance with money, debts, housing, employment and specialist services.