There are many changes to benefits happening now and over the next few years because of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.
Some of these proposals are not yet law, so they may change.
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 contains provisions that will see the abolition of:
It also makes provision for the setting up of a Local Council Tax Support scheme and a Local Assistance scheme.
Other changes include the introduction of a Benefit Cap and reduction in housing benefit due to under occupation in the Social Sector.
Please see below for more details.
Council Tax Benefit (CTB) will cease to exist from 31March 2013. It will be replaced by Localised Council Tax Support (CTS). Every Council is required to ‘design’ and adopt a scheme based on the national framework.
The funding, which will now come from the Department of Communities and Local Government rather than the Department of Work and Pensions will be paid in advance and will be a set amount. Therefore, it will be the responsibility of the billing authorities to administer the scheme and to cover any costs above the funding.
The legislation includes a national scheme for pensioners mirroring the current Council Tax Benefit scheme.
The scheme adopted by SCDC protects lone parents with children aged under 5, those who receive certain disability benefits (DLA and those with ESA Support) and in receipt of Carers allowance. If you are in the protected group you benefit will be assessed based on the current Council Tax Benefit scheme.
All other working age claimants will have an 8.5% reduction in their Council Tax Support. The scheme does not have any backdating or Second Adult Rebate provisions.
Questions and Answers
Who has made the decision?
A The Council met on the 31st January 2013 and took the decision
Q What is the Justification?
A The Government has decided to abolish Council Tax Benefit from April 2013. Local Councils have been required to ‘design’ and adopt a scheme based on the national framework based on a 10% reduction in funding.
Q Did you consult?, When was the consultation carried out?
A Yes we did consult the consultation started on the 1st August 2012. Letters were to those receiving Council Tax Benefit. The Council put out a press release and this detailed the Council’s public consultation events which ran in local village halls throughout September 2012 mainly in the afternoon through to 8pm in the evening. The changes have also been published in the South Cambs Magazine.
Q Can appeal against my Council tax support ?
A Yes we can send you a form to complete to ask for an appeal
If these changes affect you, you should start making plans now.
From April 2013, the Government will introduce a cap (limit) on the total amount of benefits that working age people can receive. This means that those households on out-of-work benefits may no longer receive more in welfare benefit payments than the average weekly wage for working households.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have written to customers who may be affected by the cap.
The benefit cap will be implemented from April 2013, starting in four local authorities in London – Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey. These were chosen as London has the highest percentage of potential benefit cap claimants and a diverse cross section of residents. This will be a phased roll-out with the remaining local authorities implementing the cap from the 15 July 2013, with all appropriate households capped by the end September 2013.
For more information please visit the Gov.uk website.
From October 2013, Universal Credit will replace all the means-tested benefits for working age people. UC will have a phased introduction, starting with new claims. Existing claimants will continue to get HB from the LA, but these cases will be transferred to the DWP in phases between 2014 – 2017.
For more information please visit: the DWP website.
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