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Welfare Reform

Welfare Reform

Welfare Reform and Council Tax Support Changes

Government Welfare Reforms - Important Changes:

  • Personal Allowances (Living Allowances) we use to calculate your Housing Benefit, will be frozen for 4 years' from April 2016.
  • There will be a four-year freeze to local Housing Allowance rate for 4 years' from April 2016
  • The Family Premium which we use to calculate Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support will be removed on any new claims received after 1st May 2016
  • Backdating of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support will be reduced to a maximum of 4 weeks' from April 2016
  • If you are receiving Housing Benefit after 1st April 2016, and you go abroad for more than 4 weeks’ Housing Benefit will stop and will not be paid for the period of your absence.
  • You won’t be paid an additional amount of benefit for more than 2 children, unless the children are born before 6 April 2017 or special circumstances apply.
  • From 1 April 2017, some 18 to 21 year olds claiming Universal Credit will not be entitled to help with housing costs.
  • If you live in a Housing Association property, and you start a new tenancy after 1st April 2016, your Housing Benefit will be restricted from 1st April 2018, to the Local Housing Allowance rate applicable for your household.

Council Tax Support

  • From 1st April 2016, everyone of working age will have to pay a minimum of 24 % of their Council Tax bill. (This will increase from the current 20%)
  • If you are Self-Employed and in receipt of Council Tax Support based on nil earning, your Council Tax Support may be assessed on the National living wage. This change will be introduced from 1st April 2016. Find out more about the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.