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Welfare Reform (Benefit Changes)

There are a lot of changes being introduced as part of the welfare benefits system over the next year as a result of the Welfare Reform Act.

There are a lot of changes being introduced as part of the welfare benefits system over the next year as a result of the Welfare Reform Act. 

The changes are aimed at people of working age. If you are already a pensioner, current information indicates that you are unlikely to be affected, although Universal Credit came into force in October 2013,  which could affect you if you have a partner of working age.

West Lothian Council is committed to helping you to understand the benefit changes. The council has set up a Welfare Reform Group, which has developed an action plan to cope with the changes, assess the potential impact on people who will be directly affected and offer advice on how people can prepare for the changes. 

  • Scottish Welfare Fund

    Details of how to apply and who can apply for Crisis and Community Care Grants through the Scottish Welfare Fund.

  • Non-dependant Adult

    The non-dependant deductions to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit were frozen in 2001. In June 2010, the Government announced they will increase the level of non-dependant deductions in April 2011, 2012 and 2013. This is to increase them in line with what they would have been had they not been frozen.

  • Passported Benefits

    Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - Passporting arrangements for the Blue Badge Scheme

  • Benefit Cap

    Since 15 July 2013 a limit on the total amount of benefits that working-age claimants can receive has been gradually introduced across Scotland, this is known as the 'Benefit Cap'.

  • Discretionary Housing Payment Fund

    The Discretionary Housing Payment fund is a "cash limited" fund available for "short term" assistance for those people who face "real hardship" as a result of not being able to meet their housing costs. Discretionary Housing Payments are available to assist council tenants, tenants of registered social landlords and tenants who are renting in the private sector.

  • Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

    Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have now replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

  • Universal Credit

    Universal Credit is now being rolled out across the UK.

  • Advice for residents

    The Welfare Reform changes, such as the move to monthly payment with the Universal Credit and occupancy rules, could be difficult for some people to cope with.