Glossary of terms

Bedroom Tax (under occupation)

An amount taken off your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit if the government believe you have too many bedrooms. The amount is 14% of your rent if you have one ‘extra’ bedroom; 25% if you have two or more ‘extra’ bedrooms. Does not affect people of Pension Credit age.

 

Benefits Cap

An upper limit on total benefits received if you (and your partner) are under Pension Credit Age. The ‘excess’ is taken off your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Families receiving certain benefits (eg Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Working Tax Credit) are not affected.

 

Bereavement Support Payment

A bereavement benefit for people under State Pension Age, whose husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6th April 2017. Entitlement is based on the deceased person’s National Insurance record or if they died as a result of an accident at work or work-related disease. Replaces the old bereavement benefits: Bereavement Payment, Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parents’ Allowance.

 

Carer's Allowance

A benefit for people caring for a disabled person who is getting Attendance Allowance, or Disability Living Allowance (mid or high rate care component) or Personal Independence Payment (daily living component).

 

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is paid to an adult responsible for a child. It is paid until the child 16 or up to their 20th birthday if in non-advanced education / training.

 

Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit can be claimed by families with children, on a low to moderate income. It is paid until the child reaches 16 or up to their 20th birthday if in non-advanced education / training. It is being replaced by Universal Credit; in some areas, when making a new claim, you have to claim Universal credit instead.

 

Conditionality

The conditions you have to keep to, to claim certain benefits: Universal Credit or Jobseekers Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance (unless in the support group).  You will be told what you need to do to keep being paid the benefit- for example look for work, attend the Job Centre regularly, etc. If you don’t, you can lose benefit (ie be ‘sanctioned’.)

 

Council Tax Support

Council Tax Support is a scheme run by the local council for people on a low income, to help them pay their council tax bill. Most people under Pension Credit age now have to pay something towards their bill.

 

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults* to help them pay for the extra costs they may have because they are disabled. There is a ‘care’ component for help with daily living; and a ‘mobility’ component to help with getting around. *People over 16 making a new claim now have to claim Personal Independence Payment instead.

 

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

You can ask the local council for a short term payment if you are struggling to pay your full rent, whether you are on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Help with other housing costs can sometimes be given (eg removal costs) but the local council has a very limited budget.

 

Employment - full time

This definition varies depending on the benefit – it could mean 16 hours, 24 hours, or 30 hours a week.

 

Part-time

This definition varies depending on the benefit – it could mean 16 hours, 24 hours, or 30 hours a week.

 

Employment and Support Allowance (contributory)

Employment and Support Allowance provides financial help to people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. Contributory ESA is paid to an individual who has paid enough NI contributions, and has been gradually replacing Incapacity Benefit since 2008. Most claimants are placed in the Work Related Activity Group which has ‘conditionality’ (see above) only paid for 12 months, some in the Support Group – no conditionality.

 

Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)

Employment and Support Allowance provides financial help to people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. Most claimants are placed the Work Related Activity Group which has ‘conditionality’ (see above), some in the Support Group – no conditionality.
It is being replaced by Universal Credit; in some areas, when making a new claim, you have to claim Universal credit instead.

 

HMRC

HM Revenue & Customs. (Formerly Inland Revenue). Responsible for taxes, Child Benefit, and Tax Credits.

 

Household

In benefit terms, ‘household’ usually means a single person or couple plus any children/young people you get Child Benefit for. It does not include other people who live with you, such as grandparents, friends, or grown-up children.

 

Housing Benefit

A benefit for people on a low to moderate income to help them pay their rent and some service charges. It is available to people in work as well as those out of work.
It is being replaced by Universal Credit; in some areas, when making a new claim, you have to claim Universal Credit instead.

 

Income Support

A means-tested (“top-up”) benefit available to those on a low income who are either a full time carer or a single parent with a child under 5.
It is being replaced by Universal Credit; in some areas, when making a new claim, you have to claim Universal credit instead.

 

Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)

A means-tested (“top-up”) benefit for people / families who are available for, and actively seeking, work. Can be paid if you don’t qualify for Contribution Based JSA or as a top up to Contribution Based JSA, for example if you are in a couple. You can lose benefit if you don’t keep to the agreed conditions.
It is being replaced by Universal Credit; in some areas, when making a new claim, you have to claim Universal Credit instead.

 

Job Seekers Allowance (Contribution Based)

A benefit for people who are available for, and actively seeking, work. Depends on National Insurance contributions, paid to the individual, not means tested, and only lasts 6 months. You can lose benefit if you don’t keep to the agreed conditions.

 

Lone parent

Parent or guardian with a dependent child; not living with or married to a partner. Lone parents with a child under 5 can claim Income Support instead of Jobseekers Allowance.

 

Non-dependant Deduction

Money taken off your Universal Credit or Housing Benefit and / or Council Tax Support because an independent adult over the age of 18 (21 for UC) lives with you. Various rates- note the highest rate is taken if you don’t provide the local council with details of the non-dependant’s income / circumstances.

 

Partner

The partner or spouse of a main claimant.

 

Pension Credit Age

Pension Credit age is the age at which you might qualify for Pension Credit. It’s gradually increasing by one month every two months, and will be age 66 by 2020. For example if you were at least 61.5 years on April 2013 you are Pension Credit age but in March 2016 you had to be aged 63 to be PC age. To check your PC age go to www.gov.uk/ pension-credit-calculator.

 

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

A benefit for people who, because of disability, need help with daily living and/or or getting around. It’s replaced all new claims to Disability Living Allowance for people over 16, and people who are currently on Disability Living Allowance who were under 65 on 8th April 2013 will over time be asked to claim Personal Independence Payment.

 

Sanction

A sanction means money taken off certain benefits– or the benefit not being paid at all – for a period of time. The benefits that could be sanctioned are Jobseekers Allowance or Employment and Support allowance or Universal Credit. Sanctions are applied when the claimant doesn’t keep to their ‘conditionality’ but can be appealed; and some people can get hardship payments- less than the full benefit rate.

 

Self-employed

Those who work on their own account, irrespective of whether or not they have employees, in their main job. The work has to be registered with HMRC.

 

Universal Credit

A new benefit for people under Pension Credit age, which replaces six income-related benefits: Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income Support and Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance. These are replaced by a single Universal Credit payment, paid monthly directly to the claimant.
Universal Credit is being introduced very gradually.

 

Work Programme

A single unified programme to help all unemployed people get back into work. The Work Programme provides personalised help for people who find themselves out of work, regardless of the benefit they claim.

 

Working Age

In benefit terms you are of working age if you are between 16 and Pension Credit age (see above) which is gradually increasing.

 

Working Tax Credit

Provides financial support on top of earnings for lone parents who usually work 16 hours or more per week, or couples with children who work more than 24 hours per week (or 16 hours where the non-worker is incapacitated, a carer, in prison or in hospital); or over 25s who work 30 hours or more a week; or over 60s who work 16 hours or more a week; or disabled workers who work 16 hours or more a week. The amount paid is dependent on annual household income.
It is being replaced by Universal Credit; in some areas, when making a new claim, you have to claim Universal Credit instead.

© 2017 Housing Systems Ltd