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Key Changes

Big changes have been made to the welfare benefit system.

We know that many of you may be worried about what this could mean for you and your family. But it is important that you start to prepare for the changes to make sure your rent is paid and you don’t put your home at risk.

The Government is making the following changes:

  • Disability Living Allowance has been replaced by Personal Independence Payment
  • Council Tax Benefit was abolished in April 2013 and replaced by our own Council Tax Support Scheme
  • From the autumn of 2016 total benefits will be capped at £384.65 per week for couples and £257.69 for single claimants. Those who receive Working Tax Credit are exempt from this cap
  • The Social Fund has changed and a new local assistance service is now provided by Kent County Council. This is called the Kent Support and Assistance Service. Find out more on Kent County Council's website
  • Social landlord size restrictions have come into effect. This applies a reduction to housing benefits for social tenants who are under occupying their property

Child benefit is also changing. Families where one or more parent earns between £50,000 and £60,000 will have their benefit reduced on a sliding scale, and will lose the benefit entirely when they earn over £60,000.

Universal Credit has been introduced for single people

Universal Credit will replace:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit

Universal Credit will not replace:

  • Pension Credits
  • Contributory Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Contributory ESA
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Bereavement, sick and maternity benefits/payments
  • Council Tax Support

Some of these benefits will change and some people will receive less help from the state than they have had previously.

The government is also introducing the changes to:

  • Create the right incentives to get more people into work
  • Protect the most vulnerable in our society
  • Deliver fairness to those claiming benefit and to the tax payer
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