The benefits cap is to be introduced to Northern Ireland from 31st May, 2016.
What is the benefits cap?
The cap is contained in the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015, and places a limit on the total amount of benefits working-age households can receive. Benefits which count towards the calculation of the cap are:
Faith, an adviser with our Community Housing Advice Partnership, recently helped to have a young mother’s housing benefit payments reinstated. The Community Housing Advice Partnership offers a support service to partner agencies who work in the voluntary sector and need expert advice to deal with complex housing cases.
We've just added a new video to our video library on housingadviceNI. The housingadviceNI website is funded by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and aims to provide information in plain English to help people find the answers to their housing problems.
Support for Mortgage Interest (‘SMI’) is a payment available to people receiving Income Support; income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance; income-based Employment & Support Allowance; and Pension Credit. These payments are vital in allowing low-income households to maintain their mortgage repayments and sustain their homes.
The next few years will see several changes to the SMI scheme, specifically:
The Department for Social Development is keen to hear more from tenants who are currently renting a home from a private landlord or through a private agent in Northern Ireland. The Department is currently carrying out a comprehensive review of the private rented sector.