Welfare reform

Changes to the benefits system

Since 2013, the Government has been making major changes to the benefits system, known as welfare reform.

Changes introduced in April 2017 may affect claimants of the following benefits:

Previous changes

Council Tax Support scheme

Council Tax Support was introduced in 2013 replacing the previous Council Tax Benefit.

All working-age people have to pay at least 15 per cent towards their Council Tax.

Find out more about the Council Tax Support Scheme

Emergency Support Scheme

The discretionary social fund (including crisis loans) has been replaced with local schemes administered by local councils. This is known as an Emergency Support Scheme.

Find out more about the Emergency Support Scheme

The Benefit Cap

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefits per week that households can claim. The Government has reduced the level of the cap in Greater London to £442.31 a week for lone parents and couples or £296.35 a week for single people. The changes applied from 7 November 2016.

Find out more about how the benefit cap works

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment has replaced Disability Living Allowance for new claimants aged 16 to 64. There is a staged migration of existing Disability Living Allowance claimants to Personal Independence Payment. The migration is expected to be complete in 2018.

Find out more about Personal Independence Payment

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a government benefit for people of working age. It replaces existing income-related benefits for people of working age. It doesn't replace Council Tax Support, which is administered by local authorities.

Universal Credit started to be rolled out to some single jobseekers in the Royal Borough from January 2016. However, that service closed for new claims from January 2018 and Universal Credit will not now be available in the Royal Borough until October 2018 when it will be rolled out to all new claimant groups.

Find out more about Universal Credit

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Contact Welfare Rights

Welfare Rights enquiry form

Public Advice Line: 020 8921 6375

Textphone number: 18001 020 8921 6375

Fax: 020 8921 2016

Welfare Rights Service,
The Woolwich Centre,
35 Wellington Street,
London SE18 6HQ