I don't know if others are aware of the plans to introduce U C, unless they have changed how it works from my last understanding of this I reckon it will cause big problems.
From what I remember, rent council tax will be paid in the benefits and individuals will have sole responsibility for paying these.
I reckon more households will fall into arrears as people have to 'rob Peter to pay Paul'
Information about the benefit cap and Universal Credit.
The benefit cap
Most benefits for people and families who aren't in work will be subject to a cap on the total amount of benefit that can be paid to the household each year.
The cap is set at the average earnings for a working household - £500 per week for lone parents and couples with or without children, and £350 per week for single people without children.
More information on the Universal Credit in the Link belowhttp://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/images/26%20Universal%20Credit%20-%20A%20Short%20Guide_tcm44-258898.pdf
How it works
At the moment, if you're affected by the cap, your Housing Benefit will be reduced.
The benefit cap came into force in Derbyshire on 15 July 2013.
Benefits included in the cap
The cap will apply to the combined income a household receives from these benefits:
Job Seeker's Allowance Employment and Support Allowance (but not Support Group ESA)
Child Tax Credit
Widowed Parent's Allowance (and Widowed Mother's allowance and Widows' Pensions)
Severe Disablement Allowance.
The cap doesn't include one-off payments, non-cash benefits and 'passported' benefits, such as free school meals, or Council Tax Benefit.
Exemptions from the benefit cap include households in receipt of:
Working Tax Credit
Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment
The support component of ESA
Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent war disablement pensions and payments under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
War Widows' and War Widowers' pensions.
If you've been in work continuously for 52 weeks or more when you claim benefit, you'll be exempt from the cap for up to 39 weeks.
What if I'm affected by the benefit cap?
The options for people affected by the cap are to consider finding work (and so be exempt if they get Working Tax Credit), or consider moving to somewhere cheaper, or negotiate a more affordable rent.
If you are unable to do any of these things, seek advice from our Welfare Benefits Information and Advice Team, tel: 01629 531535, Monday to Friday 11am to 4.30pm.
You should get your benefits checked to make sure they're correct and to check if you're entitled to a benefit which will exempt you from the cap.
If the cap is causing you financial hardship, you may be able to request a Discretionary Housing Payment to help you in the short-term.
Universal Credit will not be introduced across the country until a later date and is not expected to be introduced in Derbyshire until early 2015, and then on a very limited basis.
The information below is an outline only and may be subject to change.
The government has decided to replace several 'means tested' benefits with a single benefit.
The following benefits will be abolished:
Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance
Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit.
All of these benefits will be replaced by a new benefit called Universal Credit (UC).
UC is intended to support people who don't have enough money to live on, while encouraging as many people as possible to return to work.
It will be worked out in a similar way to the existing benefits, but will be paid on a monthly basis.
When does Universal Credit come in?
Universal Credit has started on a limited basis in some areas of the country, and will be coming in to Derbyshire on a limited basis in 2015.
Universal Credit will only apply to single people who are who are between the ages of 18 and 60 years and 6 months, newly unemployed, fit for work (that is, not unable to work because of being ill or disabled) and seeking work and who are not responsible for children. There are other restrictions too − seek advice.
Only at the following Derbyshire Jobcentres:
From 23 February 2015 − Ilkeston and Long Eaton
From 23 March 2015 − Chesterfield
From 1 June 2015 - Glossop
September 2015 to November 2015 − Belper, Heanor, Bolsover, Shirebrook, Matlock, Clay Cross, Staveley.
Any other new claims at these Jobcentres (for example, couples, people with children, people ill or disabled) will still be for existing benefits. Existing claims and claimants at other Jobcentres are not affected by this change.
We will issue new information about how to claim Universal Credit as soon as possible.
What happens to my claim when Universal Claim comes in?
If you're already on one of the abolished benefits (referred to as legacy benefits), you'll carry on as normal to begin with.
Your claim may be moved to Universal Credit at some point from 2016, and the government says that the bulk of 'legacy' claims will be changed to Universal Credit by the end of 2019.