HOUSING BENEFIT & COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT OCTOBER 2008 CHANGES A summary of the October 2008 changes is given below together with the date the change comes in. If you want more details please contact the Benefits Team. New Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit Claims Process for Pensioners (October 2008 – exact date not yet confirmed) The procedure for pensioners claiming Pension Credit who also wish to claim Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit has been simplified. The Pension Service will conduct a telephone interview with the pensioner and gather all the information needed to claim Pension Credit, State Pension, Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit. The Pension Service will then send the Council the information it needs to calculate Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit. There is usually no need for the pensioner to sign a form or send any information direct to the Council. Changes to Extended Payments (6 October 2008) When a customer comes off Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Incapacity Benefit because they have started work or increased their hours they no longer have to claim an Extended Payment of Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit. The Council will check the qualifying conditions and if they are met a 4 week Extended Payment of Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit will be awarded. Changes to Maximum Period Backdated Benefit can be Awarded (6 October 2008) The maximum period that backdated Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit can be awarded is to be reduced from 52 weeks to: 3 months for customers aged 60 or over 6 months for customers aged under 60 Customers aged 60 or over are entitled to automatic backdating but customers aged under 60 have to show continuous good cause for backdated benefit to be awarded. Introduction of Employment & Support Allowance (27 October 2008) Employment & Support Allowance will replace Incapacity Benefit for new customers from 27 October 2008. A number of changes have been made to the Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit rules to take account of this change. Full Disregard of Child Maintenance (27 October 2008) The disregard on income from child maintenance will increase from £15.00 per week to a full disregard for Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit. It should be noted that only £20.00 per week of income from child maintenance will be disregarded when the DWP calculate Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance and Employment & Support Allowance.
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