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LDAN Homelessness Forum: Welfare Reform Update. March 2012 Michael Simpson, Policy Officer DrugScope /LDAN. Welfare Reform Act 2012. Received Royal Assent on 8 th March 2012, focussing on three main areas: Shared Accommodation Rate (not in Act) Cap on household benefits

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ldan homelessness forum welfare reform update

LDAN Homelessness Forum:Welfare Reform Update

March 2012

Michael Simpson, Policy Officer

DrugScope /LDAN

slide2

Welfare Reform Act 2012

Received Royal Assent on 8th March 2012, focussing on three main areas:

  • Shared Accommodation Rate (not in Act)
  • Cap on household benefits
  • Replacement of Disability Living Allowance
  • Limiting Employment and Support Allowance
  • Removal of Social Fund ringfence
slide3

Shared Accommodation Rate

  • Effective from Jan this year
  • Most single, childless claimants under 35 years old will only receive benefit to rent room in a shared property.
  • 11,780 people affected in London - £87 average cut per week in London
  • Affects mainly single men (71%) – 16% in employment, 44% unemployed
  • 67% of under 25s already have a shortfall averaging £29 per week
slide4

SAR Exemptions

“Exemption for those who have spent at least three months in a specialist hostel for homeless people where main purpose is to provide accommodation, care, supervision and support with a view to assisting homeless people to be rehabilitated or resettled in the community during their time in the hostel.” DWP

Source, Kate Webb, Policy Officer at Shelter

slide5

Household benefits

  • A cap on maximum household benefits of £26,000 is to be introduced.
  • It will apply to families on out-of-work benefits, whether they are single or dual-parent, and regardless of number of children or any health/disability issues
  • Cap includes JSA, Income Support, ESA, Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits
slide6

Disability Living Allowance

  • DLA will be replaced with Personal Independence Payments
  • Eligible for fewer than 500,000 people
  • Like DLA, PIP will be made up of two components, care and mobility, but the component will be paid at one of only two rates
  • Has the effect of upping eligibility threshold
slide7

ESA Limits

  • People who are judged suitable for limited Work Related Activity will only be eligible for ESA for a maximum of one year
  • After the year, any continued eligibility will be means tested – if capital and savings are below £16k and their joint income does not exceed relevant applicable amounts.
slide8

Timetable for implementation

  • Shared Accommodation Rate Jan 2012
  • One year time limit to ESA April 2012
  • Cap on maximum benefits 2013
  • Replacement of DLA with PIP April 2013 – 2017
  • Roll out of Universal Credit Oct 2013
slide9

DWP Social Justice Survey

  • Published on Tuesday – ‘Social Justice: transforming lives’
  • Emphasis on recovery and independence and the ‘need to tackle the root causes of poverty’
  • Work ‘for those who can’ and unconditional support for people who are ‘severely disabled and cannot work.’
  • Notes that the homelessness strategy will be published in ‘the spring’