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Bidding on:

Issue 308

opens Thursday:

24 August at 9am

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Debt Advice/Money Matters

 

With an increasing number of people feeling the effects of limited budgets it is important that those that need debt and money advice know exactly where to turn to.

 

Welfare Reforms

• New Size Criteria for the Social Rent Sector – the ‘Bedroom Tax’

If you are currently renting from a housing association you may lose some benefits, if you have more bedrooms than the government says you need.

The government has set out that the following family members need their own bedroom:
- An adult couple
- Any other adult (aged 16 or over)
- Two children aged 9 or under (different gender)
- Two children aged up to 15 (same gender)
- Any other unpaired child
- A carer, or group of carers, who stay regularly to provide overnight care

The deduction that the government has set out is 14% of your rent for one ‘spare’ bedroom and 25% of your rent for two or more ‘spare’ bedrooms. The deduction will be taken from the Housing Benefit Payment.

Pensioners are exempt from this scheme.

If you are unsure how your housing benefit is going to be affected, please contact your local council’s benefits department.

• Changes to Council Tax Benefit

The government has removed Council Tax Benefit, and replaced it with a new system, called ‘Council Tax Relief’. The government has reduced the budget for this new system, which means that every working age resident will now have to pay some Council Tax.

These changes will only affect those households currently receiving Council Tax Benefit. Pensioners are protected from the changes and will not see a change in their benefit entitlement.

If you are concerned about your new Council Tax bill, and would like some advice on how and where you can make payments, you need to contact your local council’s benefits team.

• The Overall Benefit Cap

The government has also brought in new measures to cap the total benefit a household can receive. This means that a couple/single parent can no longer receive more than £500 per week in total from Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, JSA/ESA/Income Support, Carer’s Allowance, and some other benefits. A single person can only be in receipt of £350 per week from the same benefits.

Claimants receiving Disability Living Allowance, Working Tax Credits, Attendance Allowance or the support component of Employment and Support Allowance will not be subject to the cap.

If a household exceeds the amount of benefit the government has set out they can receive, a deduction will be taken from their Housing Benefit, to bring them under the weekly limit.

Please visit https://www.gov.uk/benefit-cap for further details.

Click here to download an information leaflet.

 

Debt and Money Advice - Advice and help to manage your money and some useful links

Housing Benefit - Information on Housing Benefit


Here are some useful websites to visit:

www.myadvicegateway.org

www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

www.stepchange.org

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

www.payplan.com

www.adviceguide.org.uk/england

www.shelter.org.uk