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Welfare Reform

To help you understand the key elements of welfare reform visit

Universal Credit is a new means-tested benefit for working age people both in work and out of work. You must claim with your partner if you have one. Universal Credit will have a £16,000 savings limit. You might claim Universal Credit if you are:
  • Unemployed and looking for work
  • Unable to work due to ill-health or disability
  • Caring for a disabled person
  • A lone parent whose youngest child is aged under 5
  • Working, and either a lone parent or a couple with children
  • Working and disabled
  • A single person or a couple without children working but on a low income
  • Liable for housing costs such as rent or a mortgage
Universal Credit will bring the following six working-age benefits into one single payment:
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
The timetable for the launch of Universal Credit is as follows:
  • April 2013: a ‘Pathfinder Pilot’ in Greater Manchester and Cheshire
  • October 2013: National launch for new claimants
  • Existing claimants will be moved onto UC in a phased approach up until 2017
Visit for more information

Under-Occupation or the ‘bedroom tax’ for social housing tenants is introduced in April 2013. Housing Benefit will be reduced for working age people who have an extra bedroom under the new rules. It does not apply to households where the tenant and/or partner are above pension credit age. Families of working age who under-occupy their property will have their housing benefit cut by 14% for one spare room and 25% for two or more spare rooms. The rules are:
  • One bedroom for the tenant and their partner
  • One bedroom for anyone aged 16 or over (such as a grown up child) or a couple over 16
  • Anyone under 16 is expected to share a bedroom with someone of the same gender
  • Anyone under 10 is expected to share a bedroom with someone else under 10 regardless of their gender
  • Foster children do not count as part of the household for benefit purposes
  • Where there is shared custody of a child, where the child lives will be based on whoever receives the child benefit
You can request a spare room subsidy if:
  • You fostered a child or become an approved foster carer in the past 12 months
  • You have adult children serving in the armed forces
  • You have a severely disabled child
If you have any concerns or think you might be affected, please talk to your landlord who can check your circumstances or call Your Benefits Are Changing Freephone number for advice 0300 303 1703 or text ‘change’ to 80018.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help you with some of the extra costs you may have because of a long-term health condition or disability. PIP replaces Disability Living Allowance for people who are aged 16 to 64. For advice, help and to find out more go to or phone 0845 8503322 Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.

Citizens Advice Bureau Citizens Advice Bureau Help with Childcare costs Help with Childcare costs Financial Advice Financial Advice
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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, Carmarthenshire Family Information Service cannot accept responsibility or liability for any errors which may have occurred. It is recommended that you always check details with providers to ensure their service meets your requirements.

Carmarthenshire Family Information Service cannot recommend or endorse any of the providers listed.

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