Families

If you are a family then you may be affected by several of the benefit changes depending on who is living in your home and what their needs are. This page will give you more information on how the new benefit changes may affect you. This page includes information about how help with your housing costs is changing and what to do if something goes wrong with your claim. The change that has a big impact on larger families is the Benefit Cap

Latest News

Birmingham Housing Benefit 2 child restrictionBirmingham City Council’s Housing Benefit department  have advised Central England Law Centre that they have made some mistakes in applying the 2 child restriction to some families who should not have had their Housing Benefit restricted.  The two child restriction was introduced in April 2017 and affects families who have a third or subsequent child […]Find out more...
Two child restrictionWe have now updated our website to give more information about the  2 child restriction. This new change means that for most families who have a third or subsequent child born after 6th April 2017 they will not be paid an increase in their Tax Credits, Universal Credit and Housing Benefit for this child.  The […]Find out more...
Benefit Cap changesThe benefit cap is increasing in Coventry and Birmingham. There will be additional advice sessions in Covnetry to assist those affectedFind out more...

Tax Credits

This website does not include any specific articles about Tax Credits and Welfare Reform. If Tax Credit claimants need advice they should refer to the article Where to get advice.

Where to get adviceInformation about where to get face to face advice on benefits and financial issuesFind out more...

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit (HB) is a benefit paid by the local authority to meet the cost of rent either in full or in part. People who get Universal Credit (UC) will have their housing costs paid as part of that benefit. There are a number of reasons why the level of HB and UC paid is less than the level of rent and these are explained in the article HB and UC housing costs restrictions. These reasons include the Bedroom Tax, the Benefit Cap and Housing Costs Contributions and Non-Dependents. These three articles suggest ways of tackling these problems but failing this claimants may want to consider asking for a Discretionary Housing Payment. EU nationals who are unemployed will have extra tests applied before HB is paid and these are explained in EU Nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work Issues.  If you need help with any aspect of claims for these benefits see the article Where to get advice

 

Bedroom TaxInformation about the Bedroom Tax which explains how it works, who it applies to and what you can do if you are affectedFind out more...
Benefit CapInformation explaining how the benefit cap works, who is affetced and what you can do if it applies to youFind out more...
Discretionary Housing PaymentInformation about Discretionary Housing Payment and how to claim thisFind out more...
EU Nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work IssuesInformation explaining the way the right to reside test applies to unemployed EU nationalsFind out more...
Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Housing Cost RestrictionsInformaiton about Local Housing Allowance and rent restrictions for people who are under 35Find out more...
Housing Costs Contributions and Non-dependentsInformation to explain how much other people living in your house are expected to pay you towards the rent or mortgage and how this will change under Universal Credit Find out more...
Where to get adviceInformation about where to get face to face advice on benefits and financial issuesFind out more...

Something Wrong With Your Claim?

This section of the website gives advice on some of the most common crisis situations arising for families due to welfare reform. Sanctions are a major issue and more advice about this is contained in Income Support Sanctions. Advice on other crisis situations is contained in these 2 articles Overpayments of UC, Contributory ESA and Contributory JSA and EU nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work Issues. A broader range of problems which can leave you without income and suggested solutions is covered in the article What to do if you have no income? If you wish to dispute a decision that has been made against you, you will need to go through the Mandatory Reconsideration process. If you need help with any situation when something has gone wrong see the article Where to get advice

EU Nationals and Genuine Prospect of Work IssuesInformation explaining the way the right to reside test applies to unemployed EU nationalsFind out more...
Income Support SanctionsThe rules for Income Support sanctions have been changed from 3rd December 2012. Sanctions on Income Support apply to people who fail to attend a work focused interview.  This is mostly single parents but some other people can also be required to attend work focused interviews while they are claiming Income Support. Single parents who […]Find out more...
Mandatory ReconsiderationAn explanation of Mandatory Reconsideration the first stage of disputing a decision that has gone against you and how to make it work to increase your chances of successFind out more...
Overpayments of Universal Credit, Contributory Employment Support Allowance and Contributory Job Seekers AllowanceAn explanation of the rules which will apply to Universal Credit, Contributory Job Seeker's Allowance and Contributory Employment and Support Allowance and how overpayments will be recoveredFind out more...
What To Do If You Have No Income?Information about the main reasons you may have no income and suggestions of what you can do depending on your cirucmstancesFind out more...
Where to get adviceInformation about where to get face to face advice on benefits and financial issuesFind out more...