Support if you're affected by welfare changes
There are measures in place for people in Northern Ireland to reduce the impact of welfare changes.
Welfare Supplementary Payments
Welfare Supplementary Payments are available to support you if you may lose out under the following changes:
- Benefit Cap
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Loss of disability premiums/elements
- Changes to Housing Benefit
You may be eligible for more than one Welfare Supplementary Payment depending on your circumstances.
There is no need to apply for a Welfare Supplementary Payment. If you have lost benefit as a result of the welfare changes, the Department for Communities will contact you directly.
Payments will be made every four weeks in arrears.
If you are paid too much
If you're paid too much money it's called an 'overpayment' and the Department for Communities can take back any money that has been overpaid. It will contact you before it takes back any money.
If too much money is paid directly to your landlord, they may be asked to pay the money back.
It's important to report any changes in your circumstances - your Welfare Supplementary Payment award letter will explain how to do this. Changes in circumstances you need to report include:
- admission to hospital or care home
- change of address
- change to bank account details
Welfare Supplementary Payments and Universal Credit
If you receive a Welfare Supplementary Payment and move to Universal Credit, your Welfare Supplementary Payment will normally stop. Instead, most people will get an ‘administrative payment’.
Welfare Supplementary Payments and tax credits
Welfare Supplementary Payments will only be included as income in your tax credits assessment if they replace a benefit that is currently included as income and which would normally have been taxable.
Welfare Supplementary Payments and Income Tax
Your Welfare Supplementary Payment may be taxable.
If you receive a Welfare Supplementary Payment that is taxable, you must tell Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It is your responsibility to do this. You can tell HMRC through your online Personal Tax Account.
Online Personal Tax Account
You can set up or sign into your online Personal Tax Account at the following page. You'll need your National Insurance Number and a passport or recent payslip.
- Personal tax account: sign in or set up (GOV.UK website)
You can then use your Personal Tax Account to:
- tell HMRC of your taxable Welfare Supplementary Payments
- see if you are already paying any tax on your Welfare Supplementary Payments
- tell HMRC about changes to your taxable Welfare Supplementary Payments
More information and advice
For more information on Welfare Supplementary Payments, phone or write to the Welfare Supplementary Payments Team.
If you use sign language, you might be able to use the video relay service to contact the Welfare Supplementary Payments Team using British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL). To access the service, go to:
For independent advice on Welfare Changes, contact the Welfare Changes Helpline.
If you have a financial crisis and are eligible, you could be offered a Discretionary Support loan or grant.
Further information is available in the Finance Support section: