August 2016 Important Housing Benefit Changes


At present, Universal Credit (UC) is available to single people throughout Great Britain and to couples & families in designated areas. Where a person qualifies for UC, most will not be able to claim Housing Benefit (HB) towards their accommodation costs but instead receive the housing costs element of UC.

From April 2017, the government proposes to remove automatic entitlement to the housing costs element of UC for 18 to 21 year olds who are out of work and making new claims for benefit (with certain exceptions).

Rule changes effective from April 2016 also limit the period HB can be backdated for to one month – down from six months. There is transitional protection for families that include a child or young person.

Draft regulations have also been issued reducing the amount of time that HB can be paid while someone is absent from Great Britain from 13 weeks to 4 weeks.

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