Saying Farewell to Welfare
If you’re of working age and claiming benefits you’re almost certainly facing a cut to your income. Many people on benefits don’t realise how big the changes might be and we’ve listed some of the headlines below. If you struggle to make ends meet already, you need to think ahead and get advice. Are you claiming all you’re entitled to? Is it time to think about finding a new job?
Clean Slate has a special relationship with a money advice magazine called Quids in!. It has loads of info on benefits but also help with debt, budgeting and shopping around to save money.
- Underoccupancy (the bedroom tax): If you’re claiming housing benefit and have a spare room, a percentage will be deducted. If you have children, it may be you’re affected by changes to rules on how old they need to be before they’re expected to need a room of their own, so this could mean you officially have more rooms than you need. You can no longer claim for more than four bedrooms. More info
- Direct payments: Benefits that are currently paid direct to landlords will be paid to claimants. This is bad news for people who struggle to budget or manage their money, especially if they have debt collectors chasing them. If the rent money isn’t paid, families could become homeless. More advice
- Household and monthly payments: Some benefits will move to monthly payment and may also be paid to just one member of the household. This will increase the pressure on families as everyone will be affected, if things go wrong
- Benefit cap: Households will no longer be able to claim to more than £500 per week. To some, that sounds like plenty of money but for large families needing a large home, this is going to cause serious difficulty. Budgeting and shopping skills will be essential, as will finding help before ‘that sinking feeling’ sets in
- Universal Credit: It is planned this will replace all working age benefits. The bad news is that it will include all of the changes above. The good news is it will include a ‘taper’ so jobseekers who find work, even a few hours a week, won’t have every penny deducted from their benefit payments as soon as they earn it, so returning to work will always pay
Whether you are out of work or in a low paid job, a new role might be just what the bank manager ordered. Have a look around our website – start here