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Universal Credit

Universal Credit has been operating within Flintshire since April 2014 providing financial support for low-income households who would normally have claimed Job Seekers Allowance. However from April 2017 Universal Credit being expanded to all new claimants which is known as ‘full service’ Universal Credit and is replacing the following six benefits;

Housing Benefit

Income Support

Jobseekers Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance

Child Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit

For further information and to apply for universal credit please see; www.gov.uk/universalcredit

 

Maximum Rent Social Sector – Size Criteria Changes 1st April 2017

There have been some recent changes to Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Regulations which make provision for the inclusion of an extra bedroom when calculating housing benefit for properties rented within both the private rented sector and social rented sector where:

  • a non-resident carer or group of carers provide overnight care to a disabled child or disabled non-dependant
  • couples are unable to share a bedroom due to their disabilities 

Conditions to entitlement will be subject to satisfying the qualifying conditions.

Qualifying Conditions

Where a disabled child or disabled non-dependant adult requires and has overnight care on a regular basis from a non-resident carer (or group of carers)

 An additional bedroom will be allowed when the claimant is able to demonstrate that:

  • care has been arranged
  • a spare bedroom is available for the carer (or team of carers)
  • an extra bedroom has not already been provided for a non-resident overnight carer (or team of carers) in the same household

 In addition, the disabled child or non-dependant adult must be in receipt of:

  • middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Attendance Allowance (AA)
  • the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
Couples unable to share a bedroom due to disabilities

When considering an additional bedroom for a couple with disabilities the Local Authority will be required to establish that at least one member of the couple is unable to reasonably share a bedroom with the other member due to his or her disability. The outcome of this may depend upon a further qualifying conditions which must be applied:-

Qualifying Conditions

  • One member of the couple must be in receipt of DLA Care Component middle or high rate, AA high rate, PIP Daily Living Component or AFIP.

If you would like more information about this change, please contact the Housing Benefits Team on 01352 704848. 

 

Benefit Cap

From 2016 the government have introduced a limit to the amount of benefit that a working age household can receive.  

 From 7th November 2016, The Benefit cap is: 

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for a family or couple
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) for a single person with children living with them
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) for a single person.

Need Help?

Flintshire County Council have been working with Job Centre Plus to make contact with all households that may be affected by the changes.

If you think you may be affected by the Benefit Cap you may be entitled to claim Discretionary Housing Payments to assist you. If you would like further information or advice, please contact us as soon as possible either by email benefits@flintshire.gov.uk or phone, 01352 704848, or call into one of the Council’s Connects Offices.

From 28th July 2016, the period in which we can consider Housing Benefits for a period of absence from your home reduces from 13 weeks to 4 weeks.

  • If you are temporarily away from your home for more than 4 weeks, you MUST contact the Benefits Section.

From 1st April 2016, regulations have been amended :

  • To reduce the time scale for backdating Working Age Claimants Housing Benefit to one month.
  • Employed 25 year olds and over will receive the National Living Wage. For more information, please visit www.gov.uk

From 1st May 2016 , regulations have been amended :

  • The Family Premium ends for new Housing Benefit claims received on or after 1st May 2016 and children born from this date or where responsibility for any child or young person ceases.

If you have receive a lump sum Annuity Payment, you need to let us know as this may effect your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction award.

We have been advised by the Department for Work and Pensions the Benefit Cap is to be reduced in 2016. We will be making contact with customers who may be effected by this when this information is made available.

 

Did You Know?

Flintshire residents could be losing out on Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction entitlement when changes are reported late.

Report all changes within one month of your change happening.

Failure to report changes on time could result in your claim being overpaid.

Do not delay report changes today!

Click on link - Change in Circumstances form.

 

Universal Credit Update

If you no longer claim Housing Benefit as you are now claiming Universal Credit, please note that you can still apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

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