Welfare benefits advice

Our Customer Income Advice team are here to help; we can offer you specialist advice to help you claim the benefits and tax credits you are entitled to. We can guide you through the benefit claims process, contact government and council departments on your behalf and help you challenge decisions if they are wrong.

Over the past few years, there have been lots of changes to the benefits system, so we’ve put together some information to help you understand what impact it may have on you.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit will gradually replace working age benefits and tax credits, including Housing Benefit. It’s being rolled out gradually across the country and the government aims to have it fully rolled out by 2026.

Find out if you’re eligible for Universal Credit

Benefits checker tool

The Department for Work and Pensions has designed a new tool so you can see what financial help you may be entitled to. Click here to go to the tool Opens in new window.

For a more complete understanding of all the support that may be available and how much this could be, then using a benefits calculator is an ideal solution. Benefit calculators take a little while to complete but will give you a more detailed picture of what's likely to be available.

The benefit cap

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit you can get. It applies to most people aged 16 or over who haven’t reached State Pension age.

Benefits cap calculator Opens in new window – use this to find out if there’s a limit to the total benefits you can get.

The rules are different if you’re claiming Universal Credit. If you receive Universal Credit and the benefit cap applies to you, then your Universal Credit will be reduced until you reach the level of the benefit cap.

The bedroom tax

Under occupancy applies to residents living in housing association or council properties. It means you’re seen to have one or more ‘spare’ bedrooms and your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit might be reduced. This is also commonly known as ‘Bedroom Tax’.

If you have more bedrooms than you need, your Housing Benefit could be reduced and might not cover all your rent.

Your Housing Benefit could be lowered by:

• 14% if you have one spare bedroom

• 25% if you have two or more spare bedrooms


Your eligible rent is £100 per week, but you have 1 spare bedroom. That means your eligible rent is reduced by 14%, to £86 per week. Your Housing Benefit will be calculated using that figure.

Use this bedroom tax calculator Opens in new window to work out how many bedrooms you’d be considered to need.