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Implementation dates for Welfare Reform in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland will not be affected by the Welfare Reform Act (GB) 2012 due to be implemented in Great Britain next week.
Friday, 29 March 2013

The Welfare Reform Bill (NI) 2012 is currently making its way through the legislative process at the Northern Ireland Assembly. The next step in the legislative process is Consideration Stage, which will begin on 16 April 2013.

Further information on Welfare Reform proposals for Northern Ireland can be found at the nidirect website

Notes to editors:

  1. Great Britain implementation dates

    The introduction of Universal Credit: A pilot programme will begin in the Manchester and the Cheshire areas from 29 April 2013, before progressively rolling out nationally from October.

    · Progressive roll out of Universal Credit beginning in October 2013.
    · The introduction of a Benefit Cap: 15 April 2013.
    · National roll out of Personal Independence Payment: 10 June 2013.
    · Changes to housing benefit: 1 April 2013.
    · The introduction of new fraud and error powers: April 2013.
    · Changes to sanctions and hardship provision: April 2013.
    · Changes to Employment and Support Allowance: April 2012.
    · Reform of the Social Fund system: 1 April 2013.
  2. Likely Northern Ireland implementation dates

    These timelines are subject to Assembly approval of the Bill and the regulations and time taken to complete the legislative process.

    · The introduction of Universal Credit: April 2014.
    · The introduction of a Benefit Cap: Autumn 2013.
    · The introduction of Personal Independence Payment: Autumn 2013.
    · Changes to housing benefit: Autumn 2013.
    · The introduction of new fraud and error powers: Autumn 2013.
    · Changes to sanctions and hardship provision: April 2014.
    · Changes to Employment and Support Allowance: Autumn 2013.
    · Reform of the Social Fund system: Autumn 2013.
  3. For more detail of the legislative process go to the NI Assembly website.
  4. Media enquiries to DSD Communications Team on 028 9082 9496 or email press.office@dsdni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.