Below is a list of the Welfare Reform changes that have either already come into force or are due to take effect in the next few years. Click on the highlighted area for further information about that change.

                               February 2011

Benefits if you are ill or disabled

The migration to Employment and Support Allowance from Incapacity Benefit, Income Support as a result of disability and Severe Disablement Allowance started in February 2011 and is due to finish in March 2014

                                April 2011

Local Housing Allowance

From 1 April 2011 the rates for Local Housing Allowance were reduced across the country. 

Housing and Council Tax Benefit

The amount of non-dependent deductions started increasing. For the last few years, it has only been the income bands that have changed, not the actual deduction amounts.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Increase in funding and allowances to Local Authorities, followed by another increase in 2012.

Working Tax Credit (WTC)

Percentage of Child Care Costs paid through WTC was reduced from 80% to 70%

Child Tax Credit (CTC)

Changes to child and baby element.

Over 75 Tax

No pensioner aged 75 or over will have to pay any tax until their income reaches £10,660 per year

Savings Credit

The maximum Savings Credit Amount was frozen for 4 years; this link points to the GOV.UK calculator which enables you to see what level of entitlement to Pension Credit you may have, based upon this change.

NI Contributions

Employees now have to make a higher National Insurance contribution

                                         January 2012

Housing Benefit: Single Claimants under 35

The Shared Room Rate was extended to affect all claimants under the age of 35 (an increase from the previous 25).                                              

                                         January 2013

Child Benefit

Child Benefit will be withdrawn from families with a high rate taxpayer (i.e. earning above approximately £42,000 a year)

                                            April 2013

Universal Credit

The Universal Credit will replace the various means-tested working age benefits (including Housing Benefit) with the aim of being simpler to claim and ensure that it is more beneficial to be in work than out of work.  It is due to be completed by 2017.

Council Tax Benefit 

CTB is not included in the Universal Credit; spending on it will be reduced by 10% and it will be replaced by local schemes

Under Occupation: “Bedroom Tax”

Size criteria assessments for working age HB claims in social housing (i.e. Council housing and Housing Associations tenancies).

Local Housing Allowance

LHA rates will not be determined through analysis of the local rental market but will instead increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each year

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Removal

The Department of Work and Pensions are removing DLA benefit and replacing it with Personal Independence Payments.


Single Fraud Investigation Service created; the implications for Local Authority Fraud staff are not yet clear.


                                            July 2013 

Benefit Cap

The total amount of benefits awarded to workless households will be capped at the median level of income after tax for a working household (£500 per week for lone parents and couples, £350 per week for single adults).   

                                           March 2014

Incapacity benefits abolished

Income Support re-assessment will be completed; Incapacity benefit payments will no longer be awarded

                                             April 2016

State Pension Age

State Pension age for Women will be accelerated from April 2016, so that it reaches 65 by November 2018; both men and women pension age will rise to 66 by April 2020.  The planned increase to 68 will likely also be accelerated


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