The Government is introducing a number of changes to the welfare and benefits system. These changes are intended to simplify the current system for claimants, reduce costs and encourage people's responsibility and attitudes to self-help. The most significant changes are highlighted below.
Hampshire County Council does not administer or provide benefits to the public. However, if you are having an Adult Services financial assessment, as part of this process the Financial Assessments and Benefits team will make sure you are claiming the benefits you are entitled to.
Important changes to the welfare and benefits system in 2013 are:
From October 2013 Universal Credit replaces monthly benefit replaces a number of the current benefits for people of working age which comes into effect
Universal Credit (GOV.UK)
Benefit Cap- Benefits will be limited per year to a maximum of:
£26,000 (£500 per week) for a family
£18,200 (£350 per week) for a single person
Exemptions include those receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and those who have recently been in employment.
Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
PIP started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 to 64 from 8 April 2013.
- Personal Independent Payment (GOV.UK)
Council Tax BenefitThis will be administered by the local district, borough, or city council.
Community Care Grants and Crisis LoansThese loans have been abolished but if you are struggling to cope financially you can visit the Local Welfare Assistance pages
Interim Payments and Social Fund Crisis LoansThese will be replaced by Short Term Benefit Advance (STBA) from April 2013, which will cover short term financial crisis caused by a delay in benefit payments
Budgeting LoansThese loans for large household items will continue to be available to people who have been claiming the following benefits throughout the past 26 weeks:
Income Support (IS)
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) (income based) this will become Universal credit
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (Income Related)
Organisations that may be able to help
- GOV.UK - the first place to look for government services and information
- Citizens Advice Bureaux - find your local branch
- Benefits and financial support - for families, carers, people with disabilities, jobseekers and housing issues
Benefits Enquiry Line (BEL) - a confidential phone service for people with disabilities, their representatives and their carers
Tel: 0800 822 200
- Jobcentre Plus
Veterans Agency and War Pensions Welfare Service - help for former members of armed forces and their families
Tel: 0800 169 2277
People with an illness or disability
- Access to Work - money to help you do your job if you have a disability or health condition
- Attendance Allowance (AA) - helps pay for your personal care if you're older or disabled
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults
This is now called the Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is money if you can't work because of illness or disability
Independent Living Fund (ILF) - provides discretionary cash payments directly to disabled people so they can purchase care from an agency or pay the wages of a privately employed Personal Assistant (PA)
On 31 March 2015 the ILF will close, and from that point local authorities in England, in line with their statutory responsibilities, will have sole responsibility for meeting the eligible care and support needs of current ILF users.
Find out how Hampshire will manage the transition of people who use ILF now.
- Motability scheme
- Carer's Allowance - money to help you look after someone who needs to be cared for
- Child Tax Credits - if you're responsible for one child or more
People on low income or job seeking
- Income Support - extra money to help people on a low income or none at all
- Jobcentre Plus
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Pension Credit - an income related benefit
- Working Tax Credit - a payment to top up the earnings of low paid working people
- Cold Weather Payment - made when the local temperature is an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days
- Winter Fuel Payment - an allowance to help older people with their heating bills
Death & bereavement
- Funeral payments - to help pay funeral costs if you're on a low income
- Bereavement payment - a one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment
- War Widow(ers) Pension - if your wife, husband or civil partner died as a result of their service in Her Majesty's (HM) Armed Forces or during a time of war