Changes to benefits may see the end to Refuges for Domestic Violence victims

In April 2013, the Government plans to introduce a new Universal Credit Systems, consolidating and simplifying the current welfare benefit system.

Universal Credit will be available for people who are working but on a low income, as well as those who are out of work. Claimants will be able to apply online and manage their claim through an online account and it is envisaged that claimant’s will receive a monthly payment which will encompass living expenses as well as housing costs.

Whilst the plans are welcomed by many, there is a concern that the changes will have a detrimental impact upon the charities who are trying to support victims of domestic violence by offering them refuge in secure accommodation.

Currently, the charities are able to make claims for Housing Benefit to cover security measures, children’s play areas and white goods in the tenant’s rent. When the Universal Credit is implemented, it is feared that these claims will be precluded.


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