fast access to our latest newsletter just click on it here and download as pdf.


or you can always catch up with previous issues in the 'news letters' under the 'Information' menu

Don't Forget

check out the leaflets in the 'useful leaflets' section under the 'Information' menu


Information on this and linked website does not necessarily infer endorsement by the Fibromyalgia Support for Worthing and West Sussex.
Any advice or recommendation of a medical or legal nature must always be discussed with a qualified professional.

Registered Charity 1042582

affiliated with FMA UK

webmaster Pete MacKean

January 2014

Fibro Support Information

Benefit Changes

Universal Credit

  1. Due to start for new claimants 2013
  2. Will replace the following benefits:-
  3. child tax credit
  4. housing benefit
  5. Interest on home loans
  6. income related employment and support allowance
  7. income based jobseekers allowance
  8. income support
  9. social fund budgeting loans
  10. working tax credit

Existing claimants will be transferred

  1. No details of how this transfer will be achieved have yet been announced
  2. There will need to be “mass transfers” as local councils will stop dealing with benefits altogether (HB)
  3. So will HMRC will loose CTC, WTC & CB
  4. Based on past mass transfers it will be a difficult time…

Universal Credit is Unique

  1. When benefits are changed there are always people who might loose money as the benefit rates change
  2. This is always covered by “transitional rates”
  3. Uniquely with Universal Credit these transitional rates will only last until the first change of circumstances
  4. With all the benefits involved, the changes will come fast!

Other issues

  1. All means tested benefits for people under pension age will be moved into Universal Credit.
  2. It is claimed this will “simplify” the process
  3. It will also save money, both admin costs and by paying lower amounts in benefits
  4. 1.7 million claimants will have reductions in benefit, 75% of whom will loose £25 or less


To get Income Support you must be

  1. A single parent of a child under 5 years
  2. People receiving IB or SDA
  3. A carer


  1. People in receipt of IB & SDA are being reassessed and moved onto ESA or JSA
  2. From 201
  3. 3 Income Support will be replaced by Universal Credit


To get JSA you must be

  1. Available to work
  2. Actively seeking work
  3. Aged 18 or over &
  4. Working less than 16 hours. Be capable of work. Be genuinely seeking work.


  1. Means tested JSA will become part of the new Universal Credit in 2013
  2. Mortgage interest is capped at £200K and will only be paid for 2 years

ESA part one

Employment & Support Allowance consists of two stages

  1. The assessment stage which lasts 13 weeks & includes a “work focused interview”
  2. The main phase, which sees three results

  1. Application turned down, go onto JSA
  2. Work related group
  3. Support Group

ESA part two

  1. There are two types of ESA:

  1. Contribution based ESA, if claimant has paid enough NI contributions, they can receive “Contribution Based ESA”
  2. Otherwise claimants receive Means Tested ESA


  1. Everyone receiving IB, SDA & NI credits for IB will be reassessed and go onto ESA or JSA
  2. From April 2012 Contributory ESA will only be paid for one year, then benefit will only be paid if means tested ESA can be paid
  3. Once again, Means Tested ESA will be replaced by Universal credit in 2013

There is an order of Migration

  1. 11,000 people are being reassessed each month
  2. The first group (& the biggest) will be assessed first, that is claimants with date limited entitlement to IB
  3. Then people with “life long” rights to IB & SDA
  4. Finally the group of people who only receive NI contributions though IB

What test is used to assess claims?

  1. The Work Capability Assessment is used to assess a right to ESA
  2. It is 21 pages long (& the guide 31 pages)
  3. It is far stricter than the old IB assessment
  4. There are far less possibilities to qualify.
  5. Claimants with a very severe condition may then be found eligible for ESA based simply on information already held by the DWP

What happens after the assessment?

  1. DLA is due to be scrapped from 16 to 65.
  2. It is planned to be replace by Personal Independence Payment. This will be paid in two components and in only two bands.
  3. PIP will be “targeted to help those in most need” & should save £625 million...
  4. No changes have been announced to AA or (so far) Carers

DLA changes to PIP

  1. Date of expected change 2013/14
  2. DLA has 3 (low, medium & higher) care and 2 (lower & higher) mobility components
  3. PIP only has 2 care and 2 mobility
  4. Lower DLA care will be scrapped
  5. 880,000 received the lower rate care


  1. HB can cover all or some of a claimants rent (Private or Social Housing) along with some other costs, e.g. mooring charges & service charges.
  2. Some means tested benefits give a right to full HB but all on low income (working or not) can apply.
  3. Benefit paid on private rentals, based on 30% of LHA.
  4. HB cannot be claimed if a mortgage is being paid


  1. HB on private rentals is now caped (basically this will only effect London rents)
  2. From October 2011, LHA is now paid at 30% rather than 50%
  3. No extra benefit paid on private rentals of over 4 bedrooms
  4. Under 35’s only get HB at single room rate
  5. HB becomes part of Universal Credit from 2013, except for people claiming Pension Credit, when housing costs are paid through this benefit.


  1. Only paid to means tested benefits, JSA, IS, ESA & PC.
  2. PC is paid from claim and up to £100K

Other benefits paid 13 weeks after claim and up to £200K


  1. Interest was paid at 6.08% until last October, now paid at 3.63%
  2. You guessed it, this will become part of Universal Credit

As stated regarding JSA, for this benefit only interest payments only last two years and then stop!


  1. Some means tested benefits give a right to full CTB
  2. All claimants on low income (working or not) can apply.
  3. The usual capital limits apply


  1. There are NO planned changes at this time
  2. However the Government have announced that Council Tax will be arranged locally when Universal Credit is introduced and they may later replace it with something else


  1. STATE BENEFIT. Normally paid at £102.15 or £58.80
  2. PENSION CREDIT. (£137.35 single) About 33% of all pensioners are  eligible for PC. Many do not apply
  3. SAVINGS CREDIT. Paid to people over 65 who have made some provision over basic pension

WINTER HEATING ALLOWANCE. £200 for all qualifying, £300 if over 80


  1. STATE BENEFIT. No change
  2. PENSION CREDIT. No change except that HB will be paid through PC when appropriate
  3. SAVINGS CREDIT. No change<
  4. NOTE: Almost all changes to benefits for older people are being avoided


  1. Administered by HMRC
  2. Paid to claimants working but on a low income
  3. Claimants must work 30 hours a week or 16 hours if single parents or disabled
  4. Extra benefit is paid for child care costs. 70% of £175 for one child or 70% of £300 for two or more children


  1. Child care costs. From April 2011 HMRC only pay 70% of cost instead of 80%.
  2. WTC will be transferred from HMRC to DWP in 2013 and will be eaten by Universal Credit.


  1. CHILD BENEFIT. Paid to the carer of all children. £20.30 weekly for the first child & £13.40 all others. Paid by HMRC
  2. CHILD TAX CREDIT. Paid by HMRC, paid to almost all parents caring for children in non-advanced education.



  1. Only paid to families where one parent does not earn more than £40K
  2. The Baby Element (paying £10.00 a week) was scrapped from April 2011

Child Benefit is capped for the next three years (a real terms decrease).