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29 January 2015

Housing and Council Tax Benefit Changes

Council Tax Benefit Changes April 2013
The Government abolished Council Tax Benefit (CTB) from 31 March 2013 and all local councils like Surrey Heath have to replace it with their own local schemes for all working age claimants. We call the new scheme Council Tax Reduction (CTR). Pensioners will still have a Council Tax Reduction scheme set nationally and will not have their benefit reduced under the new local scheme.

Housing Benefit Changes April 2013
The Government is introducing new rules to Housing Benefit for working age people renting from a local authority, a registered housing association or other Registered Provider.

Planned Housing and Council Tax Benefit Changes from July 2013
There will be a 'benefit cap' - a maximum benefit income level. Some benefits will be exempt from the cap. Housing Benefit is likely to be the benefit that will be reduced when someone's benefit income reaches the cap level. The cap is most likely to affect families with more than four children. The date for the benefit cap to start has been delayed by the Government and will NOT now affect claimants in the Surrey Heath area from April 2013 but will start to be capped from 15 July 2013.

From October 2013 Universal Credit starts to be rolled out on a national basis Opens in a new window. Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance will be paid as part of Universal Credit scheme that will replace out-of-work income-related benefits and tax credits to help people move into work. From a date to be announced, help for your rent will no longer be claimed from Surrey Heath Borough Council if you claim Universal Credit Opens in a new window. Existing claims will be transferred and by October 2017 all help towards rent for ALL claimants, including pensioners will be paid as part of either Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

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