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Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, what you can do to protect yourself, support your community and guidance to assist employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

Benefits changes

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit for working age people who are on a low income or out of work, replacing from 22 November: 

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseekers’ allowance
  • Income-based Employment & Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

For more a more detailed explanation about Universal Credit see the: DWP Universal Credit video on YouTube

Housing Benefit - spare room subsidy

The spare room subsidy, introduced in April 2013, reduced Housing Benefit for those of working age and living in Housing Association accommodation by:

  • 14% for one extra bedroom.
  • 25% for two or more extra bedrooms.

From April 2017 extra bedrooms may be included in your claim if:

  • You or your partner have a carer who stays overnight in your home, in a spare bedroom, to help care for a disabled child or another adult who lives with you who is disabled.
  • You are unable to share a bedroom with your partner due to disabilities.

All circumstances would need to be considered to decide if you might qualify for more Housing Benefit. Contact us to discuss your claim if you think you might meet these criteria.

Council Tax Support - absence from Great Britain for 4 weeks or more

From 1 April 2017, pension age customers receiving Council Tax Support will need to contact us if they are going to be away from home, outside Great Britain for more than four weeks. 

The period of absence may be extended in certain circumstances.

Two child limit on child tax credit

From 6 April 2017 Child tax credit is limited to two children where a new child is born or joins a household on or after this date.

The same rule applies to Housing Benefit when a new claim is made on or after the 6 April 2017, or when a new child joins the household on or after this date.

For details of the exceptions and further information, please:

Housing Benefits decisions must fall in line with Tax Credit decisions, so if you're making a new claim or telling us about a change in your circumstances, please provide you full Tax Credit award letter.

Refugee and asylum support

If you are receiving asylum support from the Home Office but have recently received leave to remain, you will need to prepare for when this ends (28 days after getting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

For details on what you need to do, please see the information here