Witney News - Changes to benefit rules

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Changes to benefit rules

More families will be entitled to help with their rent and Council Tax bills after changes to the way Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit is calculated.

The changes come into force today (Monday 2 November) and will mean that people are more likely to qualify for financial assistance if they are on a low income.

The changes mean that:

- Child Benefit is no longer counted as income when people apply for these benefits. This means that families already in receipt of these benefits will get more help and other families who were not previously entitled to help because their income was too high may now be able to claim support.

- People of state pension age may be more likely to receive support because the ‘capital disregard’ – which basically means the total amount of money they have, whether in a bank account, savings or investments – has been raised from £6,000 to £10,000. The first £10,000 of all ‘capital money’ will be ignored when their application for benefits is considered; however the upper limit of £16,000 still applies.

Cllr Simon Hoare, Cabinet Member for Resources at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The Council is automatically re-adjusting the claims of anyone who already receives Housing or Council Tax so they can look forward to receiving extra help shortly.”

For more information or to make a claim for benefits call the District Council on 01993 861030 or visit www.westoxon.gov.uk/benefits

Posted : 02/11/2009 22:47:52

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