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Big changes to benefits Nov 15

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Changes to welfare benefits for refugees

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Big changes to benefits Nov 15

  1. 1. Recent changes to welfare benefits for refugees LEEDS ASYLUM SEEKERS SUPPORT NETWORK NOVEMBER 2015
  2. 2. Welfare Reform Act 2013 Universal Credit (2015) – being rolled out in Leeds Feb 16 (tranche 4) The Benefit Cap (2015) – already in place Housing Benefit (under occupancy) (2015) – already in place Council Tax Reduction (2015) – replaced Council Tax Benefit already in place Personal Independence Payment (2015) – replaces Disability Living Allowance – being rolled out in Leeds from February 15 (for claims finishing July 15 onwards) already in place In addition to this Local Welfare Support Scheme (2011)- “designed to help families and single vulnerable people under exceptional pressure to get help with food, fuel, travel and removal costs and basic household goods” – already in place
  3. 3. Universal Credit Is designed to take 6 different benefits 1. Income based job seekers, 2. Income related employment and support allowance, 3. Income support, 4. Child Tax credit, 5. Working Tax credit and 6. Housing benefit And merge them into a single Universal Credit
  4. 4. Key changes Currently Universal Credit Frequency Weekly, fortnightly, in arrears Monthly, in arrears (although with some exceptions) Payment arrangements Separate household claims into separate accounts Combined single payment to a household into a single account Housing benefit Can be paid to Landlord Paid directly (with some exceptions) Application Offline and online Online only For more detailed information, the Universal Credit toolkit [link] brings together lots of info, describing the whole process start to finish.
  5. 5. How will people be affected
  6. 6. Key messages Benefits law changes, and they are complicated. The best way you can help is to get someone to see a specialist benefits advisor, asap. If you do not feel confident in what you are doing, don’t do it. If you are helping someone to complete an application for any benefits: - keep a record of what you have said, - what you have done, - when it took place, and - where possible, keep a copy of any form submitted.
  7. 7. Resources Local Leeds CAB - 0113 223 4400 Get online in Leeds – where to get free internet access (not just free wifi) Online Benefits and Work – Guides on how to claim benefits. Register to save preferences/info. Citizens Advice Bureau – Overview of all rights and entitlements Money Advice Service – All aspects of finance and credit online, including budgeting and goal setting. Register to save preferences/info. Turn2Us – Benefits and Grants – including online calculators and tools. Register to find grants/save preferences/info

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