Recent changes to housing benefit and support for council tax

Pages in Recent changes to housing benefit and support for council tax

  1. 1. You are here: Updates to housing and support for council tax effective from April 2013
  2. 2. Benefits cap
  1. 3. Help and advice

1. Updates to housing and support for council tax effective from April 2013

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Council Tax Benefit was replaced by a locally set Council Tax Reduction scheme in April 2013.

As we are receiving less government funding to pay for it, working age claimants have been paying more or started paying when they haven’t before. Pensioners and most households receiving disability related benefits have been getting the same level of help towards their council tax.

You can find out more about this from our document about Council Tax Support Scheme (PDF).

Under occupation

From April 2013 housing benefit for people living in accommodation provided by registered social housing providers has only allowed payments for one bedroom for each person or couple, with children of certain ages are expected to share a bedroom. If you are under occupying your home then your 'eligible rent' will be reduced by 14% for one spare bedroom or 25% for two or more spare bedrooms.

Who is affected?

This change only applies to working age people. One bedroom for each adult or couple is allowed. Two children under the age of 16 of the same gender are expected to share a bedroom, while two children under 10 are expected to share regardless of gender. A bedroom for non-resident carers is allowed where regular overnight care is provided, regardless of who provides the care.

The Council has the discretion to allow families with disabled children will be allowed an additional bedroom where their disabled child is unable to share a bedroom because of medical reasons.

We will allow foster carers to be allowed an additional bedroom, even in between placements. In addition, a bedroom will be allowed for an adult son or daughter who is in the Armed Forces serving away from their normal home.

No exceptions are made for:

Couples who use their spare bedroom when recovering from illness or an operation will be subject to this change. There is no exemption for disabled people, even when they are living in accommodation that has been adapted or specially designed to meet their needs.