Important Changes that Could Affect You

If you claim benefits and you are aged between 16 and 60, changes that came into force in April 2013 will affect you.

These changes will affect the amount of money that you receive; they may also change your housing needs or your eligibility. Therefore it is important that you act now to avoid possible difficulties later.

If you are a social tenant, your Registered Provider (Housing Association) should have already contacted you. This information has been provided to raise awareness and promote services you can use to get help at this important time.

How will I be affected? 

  • If you claim housing benefit and have more bedrooms than you require, you will lose money.

  • Your benefits will be capped; you will have a fixed weekly payment. If the total amount of benefits you receive is more than the cap, your housing benefit will reduce and you will be responsible for making the difference up from your other benefit payments.
  • Some of your benefit payments will be paid as one amount.
  • You will be responsible for the benefits you receive. Benefits will be paid directly to you, and you will be responsible for managing your money to pay rent etc.

More information is available on these benefit changes from a number of organisations such as and citizens advice as well as those featured adjacent on this page, alternatively you can contact West Northamptonshire Council's Benefits Service. More information.

Important Changes
Shelter - This site opens in a new window.
Shelter - Benefit Changes
Department for Work and Pensions. This site opens in a new window.
Department for Work and Pensions - Benefit Changes

Housing Associations have been working hard with their tenants to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. If you have not received information from your provider then you should contact them immediately.  It is important that you act now. In most cases your housing association has useful information and contacts available on their website. 

Some housing associations are arranging mutual exchanges so that tenants can move to more suitable homes where they, in turn, will not be affected by the benefit reforms.  This is proving to be a good solution that suits most people. 

If you are unsure of how to register for a mutual exchange please contact your Registered Provider (Housing Association). You can find out which exchange service is used by your housing provider using our Registered Provider Contacts page.

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