Benefit changes 2013: what’s going to happen

posted by in Budgeting, Debt news

If you need debt help because your benefits are due to fall, use our online counselling service Debt Remedy. We’re a debt charity and we can help.

Benefits changes could affect how much money you have in your wallet!

Benefits changes could affect how much money you have in your wallet!

This year is going to see a lot of changes to the benefits system, which are likely to have an effect on many people struggling with debt. The first of these changes was the removal of child benefit for those with high levels of income.

There are more changes to come too, here’s a rundown some of the biggest changes, who they will affect and when they will happen. If you think you might be entitled to benefits you don’t currently receive then you should use our online benefit checker.

Child benefit changes

From Monday 7 January changes will be made to Child Benefit that will affect anyone who claims this benefit and lives in a household with someone who earns more than £50,000 a year.

Those who have someone living in the house that earns more than £60,000 a year will not be entitled to anything, with a decreasing amount of entitlement if you are between £50k and £60k. has more information about the practicalities of the changes to child benefit.

Council tax changes

In April 2013 there will be huge changes to the Council Tax Benefit system. The current system will be abolished and replaced by a system of localised support. These will be dealt with by local councils in England and by the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Alongside these changes the Government will cut the central funding for council tax support by 10%. If you currently receive council tax benefit then you will be informed by your local council how these changes will affect you shortly.

Benefit cap

Another change coming by the end of September (starting in April and launching country-wide in July) will be the introduction of the benefit cap. This will mean that there will be a maximum amount of benefits that a household can receive. The cap will be £500 per week for couples or lone parents and £350 a week for single adults.

Some people will be exempt from these changes, such as those receiving disability living allowance, working tax credit and other selected benefits listed here.

It’s estimated that 56,000 households will be affected by the cap in the 2013/14 tax year.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a new benefit that is being introduced to replace the following benefits:

  • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (which replaced Incapacity Benefit)
  • Income support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Housing benefit

It will be introduced in October 2013 for new benefit claimants and slowly rolled out to existing claimants between 2013 and 2017, area by area.

You can read more about about these changes in our Universal Credit explained blogpost.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) changes

April 2013 will also see the start of a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which will replace DLA. New claimants will be affected from April 2013 and existing claimants will be gradually moved over to the new benefit from October 2013.

James Winterbottom has been a debt advisor for six years. Away from work he is an amateur app developer and writes fiction. James is a lifelong supporter of Huddersfield Town football club, which suggests he is either very loyal or very daft. He also likes to talk about himself in the third person in bio pages.

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  • june ward

    thank u for this link was very helpul thanks or keeping me uptodate re benifit changes

  • Susan Short

    Thank you for the info.

  • Jean O’Reilly

    I am a pensioner receiving Pension Credit. Will these changes affect my Council Tax and Housing Benefit ?
    I am worried!

    • Hi Jean,

      The whole council tax benefit system is changing but if you’re in England or Scotland you’ll be protected from the changes due to being on Pension Credit – which basically means you won’t lose out. The way things currently stand in Wales should result in nobody losing any council tax benefit – but this is still slightly up in the air as the Assembly have still to approve changes they’ve made. We’ll be putting up a blogpost with more detail about council tax changes in the next few weeks.

      The housing benefit system will eventually be phased out, but this will just mean that you’ll be paid your money for rent under the name “Housing Credit” within your Pension Credit payments. This change may not happen for a few years and shouldn’t lead to change in the level of support you get, just a change in how it’s paid (as you’ll be paid the money directly to then pay your landlord).

      Hope this clears things up and thank you for posting.


  • Hi could you change your info about the benefits cap. The government announced in December the £500 cap was moving to late summer for all cases, except local authorities.
    we like your web-site and work and do refer our tenants to it, and it would be great if you could make sure it is kept up-to-date



  • Jonathan Tilson

    I am currently one of your customers and you have been very helpful with my my D.M.P. your information about the the benefit changes has been useful, Yours Faithfully, Jonathan Tilson.

  • albert joshua truswell

    Excellent service very happy with all the help given Thanks Guys And Girls for all the continuing help Albert

  • MR S.

    hi im on pension credit also receiving IB as well as DLA due to open heart operation and artificial metalic valve as well as long term severe diabetes … im going to be 63 in 15/07/13 im worried can u pls tell me will i lose some of my benefits ?

    • Hello,

      There are no plans to change Pension Credit at the moment, so no issues there. DLA is changing to a benefit called PIP (Personal Independence Payment) for people under 65 in April this year. This change is being introduced slowly though, existing claimants won’t be moved over until 2015 at the earliest, unless they have a change of circumstances and need to reapply. There’s more information here:

      Hope this helps.


  • william mason

    I am an an OAP and I get attendance allowance. will this be affected?

    • Hi there William

      If you’re over the age of 64 and/or on pension credit, you should not be affected by the benefit changes.

      Best regards


  • David

    On a more philosophical note, the Department of Work and Pensions was tasked by the Government to ‘cut’ around £17 billion from the benefit system and less than £3 billion from it’s ‘delivery’ costs. The irony here is that it was inevitable that a ‘bureaucratic’ and ‘autonomous’ department would ‘increases’ it’s overhead costs by replacing an existing benefit system with the introduction of a ‘universal’ payments process that requires the redeployed DWP staff an a substantial increase in analysis costs, well done. My question to the DWP would be why did it make make £17 billion errors in claimants assessment in the first place if these are not real cuts. Furthermore, in applying the same ridiculous rationale, why don’t we just suggest a similar cut to David Cameron’s £150k Civil Servants salary ? .

    • Joe Bloggs

      How about taxing his spin doctor as well? Allegedly he is either a non-dom, a one man company or both and he pays very little income tax even though he is well paid.

  • How will the changes over to Universal Credit effect those currently on Working Tax Credit with the disability element be affected by the changes i.e. will they still get the extra supplement? Also reading the article about Universal Credit taking into account that earnings will be based on min wage earnings is worrying i.e. I don’t earn a min wage being self-employed which means the changes will mean I will be severely worse off???

    • Hi Midge,

      The Severe Disability Premium part of Working Tax Credits does not have an equivalent in Universal Credit so many people will lose out due to this change. Those affected will be covered in part by something called “transitional protection” which will temporarily be paid to those who lose out from the change to Universal Credit.

      Similarly, the self-employed earning calculation will assume minimum wage for self-employed people and could see people worse off. This too will be covered by transitional protection.

      You can read more about transitional protection here:

      It’s perhaps worth adding that Universal Credit is being introduced between now (in a small pilot area) and 2017 so there is plenty of potential for things to change between now and then.

      Kind regards


  • Claire Nash

    Hi I am in a relationship have 3 dependent children neither me or my partner are currently employed I get dla for my 13yr old child and also receive carer’s allowence his rates for dla middle n lower how will these changes affect us
    Other benefits are income support I claim for both n and my partner due to carer’s element as was suggested by benefit advisor also child tax credits and child benefit housing benefit and council tax benefit

    • Hi Claire,

      Your 13 year old’s DLA won’t be affected by the benefits changes for now, as the new Personal Independence Payment that will replace DLA only affects those between 16 and 65 (so in three years time it might be they are moved to the new system).

      Your Income Support, Tax Credits and Housing Benefit will all be rolled up into Universal Credit when that is introduced in your area. This change has only happened in a small trial area so far but will be rolled out nationally later this year but will be phased in gradually. It’s expected that everyone will be moved over by 2017, so it’s hard to say when this change will affect you.

      Council Tax Benefit has now been scrapped and replaced by Council Tax Support schemes run by local councils in England and the developed governments in the rest of the UK. You should have already heard about this change from your local council, but you could give them a call if you’re unsure.

      I hope this helps.


  • moneyaware

    Hi Craig and thanks for your

    I’d recommend that you try our benefits check anyway.

    I hope this helps.

    Kind regards,


  • Joe Bloggs

    The reason that the UK government is always short of money is simple. It allows the fat-cats to set themselves up as a company and pay less tax. Some become Non-Doms and have their companies registered in tax havens. Allegedly one well known fat-cat was able to get away with only paying £5000 Income Tax on an income of ELEVEN MILLION POUNDS!

    To make up the shortfall Joe Average gets screwed for every last brass farthing.