Benefits changes

Benefit cap changes from Autumn 2016

There’s a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called the benefit cap. The cap amount will be changing in autumn 2016 to:

  • £20,000 a year for couples with or without children and lone parents; and
  • £13,400 for single people without children.
  • For those living in Greater London this cap will be £23,000 and £15,410 respectively

Benefits that are not affected by the cap include Guardian’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit claimants who receive payments towards carer’s costs.

For more information about benefit cap changes, please:

Family Premium 

Family premium is no longer available for new claims to Housing Benefit made on or after 1 May 2016.

Benefit changes from April 2013

From 1 April 2013 there were some changes to the current Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Council Tax schemes. If any of the following apply to you then please see below how these changes may affect you:

If you are of working age, receive Housing Benefit and live in Housing Association accommodation

From April 2013 if you have extra bedrooms compared to the number of people in your household your Housing Benefit may be reduced by:

  • 14% if you have one extra bedroom
  • 25% if you have two or more extra bedrooms.

For example, a couple living in a two bedroom house would have their Housing Benefit reduced by 14%.

If you receive Housing Benefit

Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. This will replace:

  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit

Information about Universal Credit is still emerging, so payments will continue as normal until we let you know.

If you receive Council Tax support

From 1 April 2013 the national Council Tax benefit scheme was replaced by a local Council Tax support scheme. We are using the current scheme so that, until 31 March 2014, Council Tax support will be calculated in the same way as the old Council Tax benefit.

From April 2014 pensioners will be protected from any changes but people of working age may receive less help towards their Council Tax than they do at the moment.

If you have a second home in the District

From 1 April 2013 second homes will no longer get a 10% discount. We have written to those affected.

If your home is empty after April 2013 (also applies to landlords)

Council Tax exemptions

  • From 1 April 2013 for an empty and unfurnished domestic property the previous 100% exemption from Council Tax for up to six months has been replaced by a 25% discount.
  • From 1 April 2013 for an empty and unfurnished domestic property undergoing structural alterations the previous 100% exemption for up to a year has been replaced by a 50% discount.


West Oxfordshire District Council
New Yatt Road
OX28 1PB