There have been lots of changes to benefits over the past number of years and more changes are coming. These changes could affect how you pay for your home, so it's important to understand how you will be affected.
For years, people who needed extra financial support to cope with a disability received Disability Living Allowance. This allowance is now being replaced by a new payment, the Personal Independence Payment.
If you are over 18 and under pension age, you will be assessed for PIP if you need extra financial help because of a disability. Children will still be able to claim DLA.
Universal credit is rolling out across Northern Ireland. From 5 December 2018 most new claims for social security assistance will be for Universal Credit. You will only be able to make new claims for older benefits, such as Housing Benefit in limited circumstances. You can make and manage a Universal Credit claim online. The phone number for Universal Credit in Northern Ireland is 0800 012 1331
The government will start moving existing claimants of certain other benefits on to Universal Credit from 2019 and plans to finish this process by 2022.
Housing Benefit is being replaced by a new benefit - universal credit. The way your housing costs are worked out will be quite different under the universal credit system, particularly if you are a homeowner.
The government has also announced further plans to change the way that help with housing costs is given to people on low incomes.
The biggest change to Housing Benefit is the introduction of the bedroom tax. But there are other important changes too, which could mean you receive less help with your rent. This will be particularly relevant if you've moved from DLA to PIP or if you have a large family.
If you own your own home and receive certain benefits, you can apply for Support for Mortgage Interest. This is a payment made to help homeowners with the cost of the mortgage on their mortgage and on certain loans.