Welfare reforms

Most of the government's welfare reforms are now in place.

A full breakdown of what has changed and why can be found here.

Benefit Cap

The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) introduces some changes to the benefit cap. This includes changes to the benefit cap levels to £23,000 a year for couples with or without children and lone parents and £15,410 for single people without children in Greater London, and £20,000 and £13,400 respectively for those groups elsewhere in Great Britain. They also include additional exemptions for recipients of Guardian’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit claimants who receive payments towards carer’s costs.

The changes were introduced from 7 November 2016 for previously capped cases and from 9 January 2017 for new cases in Doncaster.

Further information about the organisations and advice and support available to help people affected is in the leaflet below.

Benefit Cap Advice and Support leaflet

Download (1.22MB)

For more information about the benefit cap changes please visit Gov.UK's benefit cap page.

Universal Credit

The government is bringing together a number of current means-tested working age benefits and tax credits into one single benefit to be known as Universal Credit.

These benefits include:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit was gradually rolled out across the country and was introduced in Doncaster from 28 September 2015 for new claims from most single people seeking work who would have previously claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance. From 11 October 2017 it applied to all other groups making a new claim in Doncaster and from then eligibility to claim Housing Benefit has been limited. Currently you will only be eligible to claim Housing Benefit:

  • If you are the qualifying age to claim Pension Credit*, or
  • You are living in supported or exempt accommodation, or
  • You are entitled to a Severe Disability Premium*

If the above do not apply to you; you need to claim Universal Credit to help with your rent. You can claim Universal Credit on the Gov.uk Universal Credit page. The Universal Credit claim is made online; Doncaster Digital Venues is a list of locations in Doncaster where you can access a computer to claim. 

You can also find out more information about Universal Credit by phoning their helpline number 0345 6004272.

*If you are aged 65 or older you can use this link to check if you have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit on Gov.uk

*You may be entitled to a Severe Disability Premium if:

  1. You live alone, and
  2. No-one receives Carer’s Allowance or the Universal Credit carer element for caring for you, and
  3. You receive one of the following benefits;
    • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or higher rate
    • Personal Independence Payment daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate
    • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
    • Armed Forces Independent Payment

      4. You may have the premium in an income benefit such as Income Support.

If you have to pay Council Tax for your home; you will still need to make a claim for Council Tax Reduction if you receive, or are making a claim for, Universal Credit. 

Full details about Universal Credit are available here.

Further useful information is available on Understanding Universal Credit 

Universal Credit FAQs
Download (136KB)
Universal Credit - key things you need to know
Download (44KB - PDF)
Last updated: 12 March 2019 17:49:57