Welfare reform

The UK Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduced significant changes to the welfare system. The Act aims to make benefits and tax credits system fairer and simpler by:

  • Creating the right incentives to get more people into work
  • Protecting the most vulnerable in our society
  • Delivering fairness to those claiming benefit and to the tax payer

The main elements of the act

  • The introduction of Universal Credit to provide a single streamlined payment that will improve work incentives. Universal Credit will replace a range of existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age
  • To meet the needs of disabled people Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was abolished and replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people aged 16 to 64 on or after 8 April 2013. In the Highland Council area claims to Personal Independence Payment started on Monday 10 June 2013
  • Restriction of Housing Benefit entitlement for social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need. This means those tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need may lose part of their Housing Benefit
  • The Benefit Cap was introduced in the Highland Council area on Monday 15 July 2013. This means there is a maximum amount of benefit that a working age household can be entitled to. This will apply to the combined income from the main out of work benefits, plus Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits
  • The Department for Work and Pensions Discretionary Social Fund - Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans was abolished. In Scotland a replacement scheme call the Scottish Welfare Fund was introduced. The Scottish Welfare Fund is administered by us and is intended to offer grants or in kind support

Apply for a welfare grant

Freephone 0800 083 1887

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