Background - Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

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Landlords Forum
Welfare Reform &
Council Tax Support
13th February 2013
•Jackie Hankins
Welfare Rights Manager
Neath Port Talbot CBC
Background
• £18 billion cuts to benefits nationally from 2011
to 2014 – announced in June 2010.
• From April 2011 annual increases in benefit
rates have been in line with Consumer Prices
Index (CPI) , rather than as previously Retail
Price Index (RPI).
• This is a direct cut and accounts for 35% of the
£18 billion savings.
• Recent announcement that most working age
benefits will only increase by 1%
Housing Benefit
• There have been a range of Housing Benefit
changes from April 2011 which will continue to be
implemented throughout 2012 and 2013
• Increase in non dependant deductions – amounts that
reduce the H.B/L.H.A payable when there is an adult
who is not your partner living in your household. These
increased substantially in April 2011 by an average of
20% and will continue to increase each year
• NB. – If the tenant or partner receive DLA care
component or Attendance Allowance these will not
apply
• LHA maximum restricted to 4 bedroom rate –
regardless of how many bedrooms you actually
have
• An additional room allowed for a non resident
carer – an extra room will be paid for through
LHA in respect of a non resident live in carer
• LHA rates reduced across the board – LHA
rates have been fixed at a lower level which
means that less properties will be affordable.
• Increase in age of those subject to LHA at
single room rate – from January 2012 the single
room rent rate only is payable to all single
claimants up to age of 35
Payments for housing costs to be part
of Universal Credit
• H.B. will cease to exist as a separate benefit
when Universal Credit is introduced.
• Housing costs will form part of this
calculation. Existing claimants will continue to
receive H.B until they are transferred
Benefit Cap
• Overall limit on the amount of benefit a family
can receive £500 pw / £350 pw.
• Will take form of a cut in Housing Benefit to
be implemented at a date in 2013, yet to be
determined..
• Will affect those in expensive accommodation
and large families.
• Very few people in NPT will be affected
• Welfare rights and benefits working in
partnership are making contact with everyone
affected.
Council Tax Benefit
• Being abolished in current form from April
2013
• New scheme has been devised by the WG –
administered by LA.
• Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
• 10% reduction in money received by WG for
this but for 2013/14 no reduction will be
made to individual claimants.
• Position in future years remains unclear.
Universal Credit
• Universal Credit is being introduced
from 2013 up to 2017 to replace the six
main means-tested benefits below.
• Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit,
Income Related ESA, Income Based
JSA, Income Support, Working Tax
Credit.
• Aim is for simpler system to increase work
incentives.
• Administered by DWP only but HMRC are
involved in supplying PAYE information with
‘real time’ IT system.
• Claims are likely to be online – problems with
access to internet for some clients.
• One monthly payment in arrears to cover all
living and housing costs!
• Discretionary Housing Payments
• Natasha Hart – Housing Options Benefits
& Financial Inclusion Officer
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