If you wish to claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction please click here
TEMPORARY ABSENCE RULES - Changes effective from 28 July 2016
(Housing Benefit and State Pension Credit (Temporary Absence) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/624))
New Regulations reduce the period that a person can be temporarily absent from Great Britain where entitlement to Housing Benefit and Pension Credit continues, from 13 weeks to 4 weeks in most cases. Great Britain, unlike the United Kingdom, does not include Northern Ireland, nor the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. This will mean temporary absences to these places will be treated under the new rules. Please click Temporary Absence Guide for further information regarding the changes.
FAMILY PREMIUM - Changes effective from 1 May 2016
From 1 May 2016 the family premium will not be included in the Housing Benefit applicable amount for new entitlements to Housing Benefit beginning on or after 1 May 2016 or for any existing customers who have a child or become responsible for a child (under 16) or young person (under 20) for the first time after 30 April 2016. It will also mean that if a current customer ceases to have the family premium included in their claim because they cease to have responsibility for a child or young person, they will not be able to regain access to the family premium if they become responsible again in the future. For further details regarding this change, contact the Benefits Team on 01748 901073.
There's a limit on the total amount of benefit that working age people can get. This is called "the benefit cap"
Residents affected by the benefit cap will have their Housing Benefit or Universal Credit reduced so that their weekly income is no higher than these cap levels.
The level of the cap is:
- £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
- £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them
- £350 a week for single adults who don't have children, or whose children don't live with them
From Autumn 2016, the benefit cap will be reduced!
- £384.62 a week for couples (with or without children living with them)
- £384.72 a week for single parents whose children live with them
- £257.69 a week for single adults who don't have children, or whose children don't live with them
For more information about the benefit cap changes, please visit www.gov.uk/benefit-cap
New State Pension Changes for April 2016
Non Dependant Deductions
There are also other changes which may affect you if you claim Housing Benefit. If you have another adult aged over 18, that is not your partner, who normally lives at your property the amount of deduction we take from your benefit changes each year. Non Dependant Deductions
Will you qualify?
The Benefits Team calculate and pay Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.
Housing Benefit (HB) is an income-related Social Security Benefit calculated, and paid by the Council. Council Tax Reduction (from April 2013) is an income-related discount applied to your Council Tax charge, and paid by the Council.
If you would like to see if you qualify for this benefit and/or discount please contact the benefits section or click on our benefit calculator. You can also use the links on the right to find out about other benefits you could be entitled to.
The amount of Benefit payable depends on the claimants' financial and personal circumstances and the Local Housing Allowance rate at the time of application. The Benefit schemes are designed to help people on low incomes pay their rent and Council Tax.
• It's not just for pensioners
• It's not just for the unemployed
• It's not just for single parents
To claim benefit you can complete our online Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction Application form.
Alternatively you can come into one of our five community offices within the Richmondshire district, or telephone our Benefits Section on 01748 829100 to request an application form to be posted to your home.
It may also be possible to obtain further help with your Council Tax bill by receiving either a discount, exemption or a reduction due to a disabled person living in the property. For further information about Council Tax discounts and exemptions please click Council Tax discounts.
You can download a a wide range of useful leaflets and forms relating to claiming Housing Benefit & Council Tax Reduction.
Our Service to you
We want to give you an efficient service so that your claim is problem free. You can help by:
• returning your claim form promptly.
• giving us as much evidence as you can when you return the form (otherwise we will have to write to you again which will delay settling your claim).
• reading carefully any letters we send you so that we can correct any mistakes straight away.
• asking us to check what your benefit is likely to be if you rent from a private landlord.
• telling us about any change in your circumstances straight away. If you don't do this we might give you too much benefit which you will have to pay back later.
Our Customer Charter sets out the standards of service you can expect to receive whenever you contact us.
Our office opening times are:
Monday to Thursday 8:45am - 5:15pm Fridays 8:45am - 4:45pm