Major changes are being made to the welfare system from next month, some specifically for Londoners.
A tax on social housing tenants deemed to have an extra bedroom will hit disabled people and divorced parents hard.
The so-called 'bedroom tax' will affect around 660,000 social housing tenants across the country but how will it work?
The controversial 'Bedroom Tax' which sparked protests in Leicester Square over the weekend, comes into force today. Eighty thousand Londoners will be affected by the new ruling.
Housing benefits for claimants who have a spare room will be affected by the new ruling.
Hundreds of people have staged a protest in Trafalgar Square against changes to the benefits system.
The so called bedroom tax, which is due to be introduced next month, would see welfare payments deducted from households judged to have extra rooms.
The changes mean that around 80,000 will lose an average of £771 each.
A series of protests are due to take place across the country today against plans to cut benefits for social housing tenants who are considered to be living in a house which is too big for their needs.
Under the Government plans, social housing tenants deemed to have a spare bedroom stand to have their housing benefit cut from next month.
Protests against the so-called 'Bedroom Tax' are expected to take in 53 towns and cities including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and Glasgow.
Protesters have organised demonstrations at Trafalgar Square and across the country today opposing the introduction of the under-occupancy penalty, dubbed the 'bedroom tax' on Monday. Labour Left will start their protest at 1pm.
It's believed 50 more related demonstrations will take place today, with an estimated 13,000 protesters braving the cold weather.
Protests are taking place nationwide today against a new housing benefit, labelled by campaigners as "bedroom tax", that will cut benefits to people with a spare room.
Under the Government's welfare reforms, those deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home will have their benefit claims reduced by £40 to £80.
The cut will be a fixed percentage of the Housing Benefit eligible rent. The Government has said that this will be set at 14% for one extra bedroom and 25% for two or more extra bedrooms.
The Government’s impact assessment shows that those affected will lose an average of £14 a week. Housing association tenants are expected to lose £16 a week on average.
All claimants who are deemed to have at least one spare bedroom will be affected. This includes:
- Separated parents who share the care of their children and who may have been allocated an extra bedroom to reflect this. Benefit rules mean that there must be a designated ‘main carer’ for children.
- Couples who use their ‘spare’ bedroom when recovering from an illness or operation
- Foster carers because foster children are not counted as part of the household for benefit purposes
- Parents whose children visit but are not part of the household
- Families with disabled children
- Disabled people including people living in adapted or specially designed properties.
The size criteria in the social rented sector will restrict housing benefit to allow for one bedroom for each person or couple living as part of the household, with the following exceptions:
- Children under 16 of same gender expected to share.
- Children under 10 expected to share regardless of gender
- Disabled tenant or partner who needs non resident overnight carer will be allowed an extra bedroom
A mother is pleading to be exempted from the so-called "Bedroom Tax", so she can preserve the room of her son who died at the age of 10.
Tania Poppleton has a housing association home in Hampton, west London.
As we've reported before here on ITV London, rule changes are coming into force in April.
They mean that Tania and other families like hers will lose some of their housing benefit if they have rooms that are deemed to be un-used or spare.
She has said she has lost all faith in the system, because it fails to show any compassion for real people or individual stories. It simply wants to 'put her in a box' - whether she fits into it or not.