Government changes to housing benefit
The Government have made two changes to the Housing Benefit regulations in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. These are as follows:
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates
The LHA rates have been further increased from 6 April 2020 so that all bedroom rates are now equal to the 30th percentile rent of the Broad Market Area. In the Richmondshire area, this has meant that some of the LHA rates have been further increased from 6 April 2020. For rates details visit GOV.UK's Local Housing Allowance rates page.
Additional earnings disregard
This applies to someone’s Housing Benefit calculation in the following circumstances:
- The customer or partner is aged 25 or more and works 30 or more hours per week
- A couple with children where one member of the couple works 16 hours or more per week
- A lone parent working 16 hours or more per week
- A couple where at least one person is disabled and where the disabled person is working 16 hours per week or more
- A couple aged over 50 years old, where the person aged over 50 works 16 hours per week or more
The additional earnings disregard will be increasing from £17.10 per week to £37.10 per week for one year. This will start from 6 April 2020.
If your housing benefit has changed as a result of one or both of these changes being applied, you will automatically receive a letter from us explaining your new entitlement.
An overpayment of housing benefit is when we pay you or your landlord an amount of housing benefit that you were not entitled to receive. If we have paid you too much housing benefit, we will ask you to pay back the amount we have overpaid.
However, during this difficult period to help residents we will be deferring the recovery of housing benefit overpayments by deduction from ongoing housing benefit payments until the end of June 2020.
The council plans to resume recovering overpayments again from the first payment customers are due in July 2020.