Changes to welfare benefits

The government is making big changes to the welfare benefits system which could affect the amount of benefits you receive and how benefits are paid to you.

If you receive benefits, whether that’s housing benefit, employment support allowance, working tax credits, or any other welfare benefit, you will be affected.

If you have any questions about welfare reform, or if you're worried about falling into debt, just contact our welfare benefit advisors, Arlene and Uyi. They can help you find out what benefits you are entitled to and provide other advice and support.

Contact Uyi on 020 8536 8803 or Arlene on 020 8536 8797, or email

Discretionary housing payments

If you received a discretionary housing payment (DHP) before 31 March 2014, you will need to reapply if you are still eligible. For more details please check your award letter from your local authority. For details on how to apply, check your local authority website or if you need assistance, just contact our welfare benefits advisors on the details above.

Do you have a spare bedroom?

Changes were introduced in April 2013 which mean that if you receive housing benefit and have a spare room, you may see your housing benefit cut by around £14 a week. If you are finding it difficult to make up the shortfall in rent yourself, there are a number of things you can do, such as taking in a lodger or moving to a smaller home.

For information on the steps you can take, click here, or contact our welfare benefits advisors.

Have you received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)?

In April 2013 a benefit cap was introduced which limits the amount of benefits you can receive to no more than £500 a week for a family and £350 a week for an individual. You are most likely to be affected if you have four or more children and you live in an inner London borough such as Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest. If you are being affected by the benefit cap, contact our welfare benefit advisors who will be able to give you information on how to reduce the impact it has on you.

More information

We want to help you minimise the effect these changes have on you. We provide regular information about the welfare benefit changes in our residents’ magazine Street by Street and on these web pages:

You can also find useful information in our Welfare Reform FAQs booklet