If you claim benefits, you are likely to be affected by cuts being intorduced this year.
It’s important to ACT NOW because if you wait, you might have to manage with less money for a long time before we can help. If you go into arrears, you could lose your home.
All doom and gloom? It doesn’t have to be. Preparing for the changes may mean you avoid losing money and even if your benefits do go down, we may be able to help you manage.
The first change is that the Government is changing the rules about how many bedrooms people can have. If you get any Housing Benefit and you have more bedrooms than allowed, your Housing Benefit will go down and you will have to make up the difference from your other income or benefits. Don’t assume you’re protected if you’re using all of your bedrooms – it’s about how many bedrooms the Government says you can have that matters.
Your first this to do is to find out if you will be affected. You can use this bedroom calculator to find out if you will lose Housing Benefit.
For information about the other benefit cuts that may affect you, visit this website, where you can also use a benefit calculator to help you work out how much money you will lose or alternatively go to your local Jobcentre Plus.
If you are affected, it’s important to take advice about what to do next. If you wait until the changes actually come in April, you may have to wait a long time for help because there will be much higher demand for homes.
If you’re not affected, you should still find out more because there will be changes in the way benefits are paid in future and you may need to prepare for this. For example, you will need to have a bank or building society account.