Recent benefit changes

Bereavement Support Payment

The current bereavement benefits (Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment, Widowed Parent’s Allowance) will be replaced with the new Bereavement Support Payment (BSP). This will be introduced for new claims from April 2017.

However, people whose spouse or civil partner dies before 6 April 2017 will have to make a claim for one of the current bereavement benefits, as appropriate, even if the claim is made after that date.

Tax Credits and Universal Credit - Two child limit

For Child Tax Credit, child elements which are taken into account on the calculation of a Housing Benefit award will not be included for a third (or more) child born on or after 6 April 2017 unless an exception applies. Child elements will continue to be included for all children born before 6 April 2017 on existing claims.

Tax Credit - Family Element removed

People starting a family from 06 April 2017 will no longer be eligible for the Family Element in tax credits. The equivalent in Universal Credit, known as the First Child Element, will also not be available for new claims from 06 April 2017.

Bedroom Allowance

From 01 April 2017, in summary, the updated regulations allow an extra bedroom for Housing Benefit claimants:

  • When a disabled child or disabled non-dependant adult reasonably requires, and has, overnight care from a non-resident carer (or group of carers) and is in receipt of a specified disability benefit; and
  • In respect of a disabled couple, when the council is satisfied that a couple cannot reasonably share a bedroom as a result of a member of the couple’s disability and that member is in receipt of a specified disability benefit.

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