In April 2013, major government changes to the entire housing benefit system came into effect.
These changes could reduce the amount of benefit you receive. Whether you are in receipt of housing benefit, employment support allowance, working tax credits, or another form of welfare benefit, you might be affected.
The government changes to the benefit system are wide ranging and include:
The government is introducing new rules about the number of bedrooms households need. From April 2013, the amount of Housing Benefit payment may be cut if residents have more bedrooms than they are thought to need.
The government will limit the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. The cap is set at £350 per week for single households and £500 per week for lone parents and couples with or without children.
Universal Credit is a new welfare benefit that will be introduced to replace six of the main means-tested benefits and tax credits. Universal Credit will include a housing element which will replace Housing Benefit. You will therefore need to make your own arrangements to pay your rent. For more information visit the government website https://www.gov.uk.
Personal Independence Payment
From April 2013 the government are changing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which will be replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for eligible working age people aged 16 to 64.
If you are an East Boro tenant and would like more information about your benefit rights, call 01202 883 503 or 01305 750 403
Who to go to for help finding out about and claiming benefits
Firstly speak to your Housing Officer at East Boro, they will be able to assist you or signpost you to another organisation for an assessment. Your Housing Officer can support you to make claims and advise/estimate what and how much you may receive.
Offering face-to-face consultations are the Citizens Advice bureau, they will carry out a benefits check to ensure you are claiming the right benefits for your individual circumstances and assist you to claim.
Alternatively you can access an independent benefits calculator to find out what you are entitled to and how to claim https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
Advice UK – The web link below takes you to a brilliant page containing all the phone numbers you need to claim various benefits.
Age UK – Helping those later on in life, weblink contains information on benefits for older people, how much they may get and how to claim.
Advice & Guidance:-
While we can help you with managing your finances, we cannot offer specialised debt advice.
Remember, you should never have to pay for debt advice.
Citizens Advice Bureau
08444 111 444
Debt Advice Foundation
0800 043 4050
Energy Saving Trust
0300 123 1234
Money Advice Service
0300 500 5000
The Insolvency Service
0845 602 9848
0800 138 1111
0800 716 239
0808 802 2000