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Your Borough Of Poole

Benefit changes that could affect you

As part of the Welfare Reform programme, the government is introducing a number of major changes to Housing Benefit and Council Tax discounts and reduction schemes.

Latest / future changes:

6 April 2017 The Social Security (Restrictions on Amounts for Children and Qualifying Young Persons) Amendments Regulations 2017 makes amendments to the Housing Benefit rules from 6 April 2017. The amendments limit support to no more than two children, to all new entitlements to Housing Benefit arising on or after 6 April 2016, or where, in an existing Housing Benefit case, a new child or young person becomes part of the family on or after that date and are not included in the claimants Child Tax Credit assessment.

The restriction only applies to the personal allowances for children/young people to be included in the Housing Benefit Applicable Amount. Every child/young person in the household will continue to be relevant for the purposes of other elements of Housing Benefit entitlement, such as determining the number of rooms a claimant is deemed to need and the award of premiums.

April 2017 The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (size criteria) (miscellaneous amendments) regulations 2017 which make changes to the size criteria rules.

Please see the Housing Benefit April 2017 downloads on the right hand side.

Autumn 2016 The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 will see changes to the current benefit cap levels and the introduction of additional exemptions. Claimants who could be affected by the changes to benefit cap levels will be informed of them by DWP and offered support to help them adjust their circumstances. Claimants will also be able to receive employment support either through their regular work coach intervention or by requesting voluntary support. Helplines and GOV.UK will be updated with information about the changes. Additional advice is available at GOV.UK.

28 July 2016
The government has amended the Housing Benefit and State Pension Credit temporary absence rules to introduce new provisions which relate specifically to absences outside of Great Britain (GB). Maximum time limits will apply to absences outside of GB as well as absences within GB. Existing provisions for temporary absence within GB are unchanged.

May 2016 The family premium will not be included in the Housing Benefit applicable amount for new entitlements to Housing Benefit beginning on or after 1 May 2016 or for any existing claimants who have a child or become responsible for a child (under 16) or young person (under 20) for the first time after 30 April 2016.

It will also mean that if a current claimant ceases to have the family premium included in their claim because they cease to have responsibility for any children or young people, then they will not be able to regain access to the family premium if they become responsible again for any children or young people in the future.

This same rule will also apply to Council Tax Support.

April 2016 The revised Housing Benefit backdating rule which comes into force on 1 April 2016 reduces the maximum period for which Housing Benefit claims may be backdated for working age claimants from six months to one month. The good cause provisions have not changed.

Working age claimants will still need to demonstrate good cause throughout the period for which they are requesting backdating.

The new arrangements mean that Housing Benefit cannot be backdated for more than one month if the claimant makes their request on or after 1 April 2016 (even if this is a belated request linked to a current claim for Housing Benefit which was made before that date).

This same rule will also apply to the Local Authorities' working age Council Tax Support Scheme. 

April 2016 On 6 April 2016 the current State Pension scheme will be replaced with a clearer one. This means you will be able to know from a much younger age how much State Pension you are likely to get. It will enable them to plan better for their retirement. See here for further information.

If you are over the age of 55 you are also entitled to a free State Pension statement to help with your retirement plans.

April 2015
The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a new online resource for job seekers called the Daily Job Seeker featuring a range of helpful hints, tips and videos, updated every working day.

04 December 2013

Amendment to the room requirement considerations for households where a child requires their own bedroom.

See our Local Housing Allowance page for further information.

October 2013

Universal Credit, introduced on 29.04.13 in Manchester, has started its phased roll-out with some London councils trialling the scheme.

The Department for Work and Pensions have provided a Personal Planner which will show you what you need to do to be ready for Universal Credit.

The Money Advice Service has further information about Universal Credit, including budgeting advice, help with finding a bank account and a budget planner.

July 2013

A limit will now be put on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called a ‘benefit cap’. The Borough of Poole introduced this on 15.07.13.

We advise that you check now to see if your benefits will be capped if you apply.

April 2013

Personal Independence Payments have started to replace Disability Living Allowance. Check here to see how it might affect you, or call the PIP Information Line on 0845 850 3322 (textphone 0845 601 6677) from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.
An easy-read information leaflet is available for download. See the panel on the right of this page.

 April 2013

Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy

Since April 2013 there have been new rules in Housing Benefit for working-age people living in social housing. Pensioners aren’t affected by this change.

Under the new rules you will receive Housing Benefit based on the number of people in your household and the size of your accommodation.

For further information about this change and how it could affect you please see this leaflet.  Alternatively please contact us for further details.

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