Benefit changes

Benefits limited to the amount for two children

If you have a third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017, you will not be able to get the child element of Child Tax Credit. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example, where there is a multiple birth or a Special Guardianship Order.

No housing support for new Universal Credit claimants aged 18 – 21 years old.

From 1 April 2017, single, unemployed 18-21 year olds making new Universal Credit claims will not be eligible for Housing Benefit or ‘Housing Cost Element’ as it is now known.

There are a number of exceptions including those with dependent children, care leavers, those in temporary accommodation or young people who have been working for the previous 6 months.

Restrictions if going abroad.

Since 28 July 2016, you cannot receive Housing Benefit or Pension Credit, if you go abroad (outside Great Britain) for more than four weeks (previously 13 weeks). If you are abroad for longer than 4 weeks and you know before leaving that you will be away for longer than 4 weeks, then you will not receive any housing benefit at all, not even for the initial 4 weeks you spend away.

Backdating restricted to 4 weeks

Since April 2016 Housing Benefit & Council Tax Support can now only be backdated for a working age person for a maximum of one month and you have to show a good reason why your claim needs to be backdated. For people of pension age, Housing Benefit can be backdated for three months.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Financial Inclusion Officer, Niki Durosaro, on 020 8354 5638 or attend our Citizens Advice Bureau benefits surgery on Fridays between 9am- 12pm.

Welfare reform and managing your money – watch our video to find out how Octavia can support residents with the changes:

Welfare reform and managing your money

In addition to the new welfare reform rules highlighted above, the three main welfare reform changes that were introduced in 2013 were Bedroom Tax, Benefit Cap and Universal Credit. Use these links for more information on these changes.  There is also a useful video explaining more about Universal Credit  and your income officer is available to answer further queries.

More about Universal Credit