Council response to welfare changes

Central government is making significant changes to the benefits system. This means that, if you receive benefits, the amount you get and how you get it may change. Find out more about benefit changes

Council response to welfare changes

Central government is implementing a number of welfare changes between 2011 and 2017, which include significant changes to housing benefit and disability benefits, the merging of several key working age benefits into a single universal credit and the localisation of some welfare provision.

One of the aims of the Camden Plan, the Council’s vision for the borough, is to reduce inequality while preserving the social mix, and welfare changes present significant challenges to that aim.

This is a critical year for welfare changes with the social sector size criteria being introduced in April, personal independence payments from June and the benefit cap coming into effect by the summer. The importance of welfare changes to the borough and the council, combined with the fact that it has implications for a range of Council services, mean that a joined-up approach is essential. 

We have now submitted our response to the House of Commons’ Public Bill Committee. You can read this here: 

Response to introduction of the Benefit Cap from 19 August 2013

We have put in place a number of initiatives to support residents affected by the Government’s Benefit Cap regulations, which means that no household can receive more than £500 per week in benefits.

The Department for Work and Pensions rolled the cap out across affected households from 19 August to the end of September 2013. To ensure that no residents were unfairly disadvantaged because they were selected to have their benefits reduced earlier than others, we pledged extra money to those affected until the end of September 2013.

In addition to this transitional support, residents will be able to apply for further Discretionary Housing Payments to help with their rental costs.

When considering these applications we will be prioritising those who are actively seeking employment, studying or undergoing training which could lead to employment. Employment exempts people from the cap and is the first step towards removing them from benefit dependency. 

We have also arranged for a Job Centre Advisor to work in the benefits service at the Town Hall for a temporary period. This will make it possible for residents to access benefits and employment advice at the same time.

Residents can get help and advice by phoning our contact centre or emailing benefits@camden.gov.uk

Emerging impacts of welfare changes

We have been working to build a picture of the impacts and anticipated future impacts of welfare changes on the borough given many of the changes are yet to take place. This analysis has shaped our response to welfare changes.

The full impact of the welfare changes is not yet clear, because many of the changes are still to come into effect, and those that have been implemented are subject to a phased approach or temporary mitigations.

Further information on the impacts analysis:

What we are doing

On 27 February 2013 Camden's Cabinet considered a report on Camden's response to welfare changes.

The report sets out our work to date to address these impacts and our overarching approach to a response, in line with the aims of the Camden Plan to reduce inequality. It also outlines a programme of on-going activity to continue to respond to the welfare changes:

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