The housing element will be capped, as LHA is now, with a £250 per week cap for a one bedroom property ranging up to a cap of £400 per week for a four bedroom property (NB: these figures are an absolute maximum, in most areas the LHA rate will be much lower).The maximum number of bedrooms covered by LHA is four.In order to receive UC, claimants must sign a ‘Claimant Commitment’.This will set out what the claimant will be expected to do as a condition for receiving UC.The sanction amount will be up to 100 per cent of the ‘standard allowance’.Claimants will not be able to receive more than one sanction within a two week period.So, even after October 2017, some claimants will claim one of these benefits alongside UC. Is Council Tax Benefit included in Universal Credit? The overall amount LAs receive will be cut by 10% from April 2013, with only payments for pensioners definitely being protected. Will the Social Fund continue under Universal Credit?Elements of the Social Fund will be reformed, replaced and, in some instances, devolved.
However, sanctions will be cancelled if the claimant works for six consecutive months or more above the conditionality earnings threshold. When a claimant enters work, will Universal Credit be withdrawn in the same way benefits are now? The government has said that transition into work will be easier for claimants under UC.It is not intended to cover every detail of how UC will work. In-work credit, Return-to-work credit and Job grant will be abolished.Other benefits will remain, including contribution based Jobseeker’s Allowance; contributory Employment and Support Allowance; Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independence Payments), Child Benefit; and Carer’s Allowance. It will be calculated and administered by local authorities.The Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) will continue for single people aged under 35. Rather than being calculated every month, based on local rents, LHA is now recalculated on an annual basis and is linked to inflation (the Consumer Prices Index).This is likely to continue for the housing element of UC.