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What is Welfare Reform?

The UK government has introduced various changes to the welfare benefits system for anyone of working age. The changes were made to save money, simplify and streamline the system.

What is happening?

Changes have been made to the way housing benefit is paid. More commonly known as ‘bedroom tax’, the spare room subsidy has been applied to anyone in social housing and also in receipt of housing benefit since 1 April 2013.

A benefit cap has also been introduced. This has been in place since summer 2013 and covers people of all sorts of circumstances.

The next change is Universal Credit, which is gradually being introduced across the country from the beginning of October 2013. New claimants and existing claimants whose circumstances change are the first to be moved over, with remaining claimants migrating over thereafter.

Who is affected?

The bedroom tax and the overall benefit cap affects any tenants of working age who receive, or have made a claim for, Housing Benefit. The bedroom tax affects anyone with one or more ‘spare’ bedroom as deemed by the UK government. The overall benefit cap affects larger families in larger properties.

All the changes are detailed in the animated video below, thanks to Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Carers Allowance Supplement (new Summer 2018)

Social Security Scotland will be making a new payment to people who live in Scotland and are receiving a payment of Carers Allowance.  It is called Carers Allowance Supplement.  You won’t need to apply for this – you will receive the payment automatically so long as you are in receipt of a payment of Carers Allowance.

The payment will not affect any other benefits that you are entitled to. The first payment will be made in Summer 2018 and a second payment autumn 2018. All future payments will then be every 6 months.

You can view answers to FAQs about the new Carers Allowance Supplement here.

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