Changes to council tax benefit rentsustainable

From April 2013, if you’re of working age and claim council tax benefit, the amount you receive may be cut. This is because the Government is reducing the amount of money available and asking local councils to run their own schemes. Contact your local council for more details.

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is set to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from April 2013 for adults aged 16 to pension credit age. The government expects that PIP will be paid to fewer disabled people, and plans to spend 20% less per year than currently paid out on DLA.

New and existing DLA claimants aged between 16 and pension age are affected. If you receive the DLA care component under the special rules, you may be exempt. People with the most severe health conditions or disabilities are unlikely to need a face-to-face consultation. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

You won’t automatically be moved onto PIP if you currently receive DLA. You’ll have to make a new claim when invited to do so.

  • When a young person on DLA reaches 16, they’ll be invited by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to make a claim for PIP. Their circumstances will be reassessed to check if they’re eligible.
  • Everyone who receives DLA aged between 16 and pension age will be subject to a review of their circumstances.
  • If you’re not entitled to PIP, you’ll be informed by the DWP. If you’re not eligible, your DLA will stop and you won’t be moved over to PIP.
  • If you’re terminally ill, you’ll have your claims prioritised and won’t need a face-to-face review.

Direct Payments

From October 2013, under the Welfare Reform Act, the Government started a roll out where they will pay all benefits into a bank account. The date for Calico’s benefit claimants to come under this scheme has yet to be confirmed.  Once we know more we will inform customers.

It’s essential that everyone who is claiming has access to a basic bank account.  If you need help in opening a basic account, or are not sure where to start, please contact our Money Wise Team on 01282 686300, or email MoneyWise@calico.org.uk

Other Benefits

  • Social fund community care grants and crisis loans will be abolished from April 2013 and each local authority will publish details of their own schemes in due course.
  • The rate of Child Benefit is frozen for the next three years.
  • Tax Credit element of Universal Credit – baby element & family element for middle income families will be abolished.
  • Childcare costs will be cut from 80% to 70%.
  • In year income to reduce to £5k.
  • Couples with children now have to work 24 hours per week for Working Tax Credit.
  • Payments will not be increased during the year if a person’s income decreases by less than £2.5k.

Financial Inclusion

We believe that making the most of your finances plays an essential role in building your confidence to allow you to make financial decisions.

Our Money Wise team can help you develop your knowledge and skills to create a realistic budget based on your income. We can help you plan and budget if you have a sudden change in income. We can also arrange training sessions for tenants to help with money issues.

For more information, email MoneyWise@calico.org.uk or call 01282 686300.