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The Borough Council is responsible for:
This section provides information on who is eligable, likely amounts and how they are calculated and you will also find all forms needed to make your application.
It only affects people of working age who claim Housing Benefit, so if you (or your partner) are not claiming Housing Benefit, or are old enough to claim Pension Credit in April 2013, you will not be affected.
The government is introducing this measure to bring benefit calculations in the social sector into line with those already in the private sector.
For couples currently claiming Housing Benefit, both the claimant and their partner need to be under the Pension Credit qualifying age to be treated as working age and subject to the size criteria.
There are strict rules that show the number you need. It will not take into account if you have children visiting at weekends or if you use your bedroom for something else (e.g.a dining room or storage area).
To work out the size criteria you need to count one bedroom for the following people:
If you have one extra bedroom, your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 14% of your eligible rent. If you have two or more extra bedrooms, your Housing Benefit will be reduced by 25% of your eligible rent.
If this affects you, you need to discuss your options with your Landlord. This may include
If you need any further help or support please contact Newcastle Housing Advice Service who can offer a range of options such as debt advice and finding alternative accommodation. You can visit their offices in Merrial Street or telephone them on 01782 635200 for an appointment.
The Government’s recent Comprehensive Spending Review will lead to reforms and changes to the current Housing Benefit scheme. These changes may affect the amount of benefit claimants will receive from Newcastle Borough Council.
The following changes will come in with effect from 1 April 2011:-
The maximum number of bedrooms that Local Housing Allowance (LHA) helps with is reduced from 5 to 4. Current claimants will have their rate reduced on the anniversary date of their claim after 1 April 2011. The Government has allowed a transitional protection period of a further nine months from the anniversary date.
LHA allows set amounts for the rent depending on the area and number of bedrooms. Now, an absolute cap is introduced so that - whatever the rent is - the LHA weekly rates cannot exceed:
New claimants will no longer qualify for an excess payment of up to £15 if their rent is less than the Local Housing Allowance for their accommodation. Current claimants will cease to receive this top up on the anniversary date of their claim after 1 April 2011.
An extra bedroom is allowed for non resident overnight carers of a disabled HB resident, where:
Set amounts are deducted from a tenant's HB, LHA or CTS for 'non dependants' living in the home - for example, a grown up son or daughter. The amount depends on the non dependant's circumstances. Exemptions apply. Set out below are the non dependant charges from April 2013:-
Council Tax Support Non-dependant Deductions
In receipt of state Pension Credit or in receipt of IS, JSA(IB), or ESA(IR)
Aged 18 or over and in remunerative work:-
-gross income greater than £401.00
-gross income not less than £322.00 but less than £401.00
-gross income not less than £186.00 but less than £322.00
-gross income less than £186.00
Others aged 18 or over
Housing Benefit Non-dependant Deductions
Aged 25 or over and on IS/JSA(IB), or aged 18 or over and not in remunerative work
In receipt of main phase ESA(IR)
In receipt of Pension Credit
Not in receipt of main phase ESA(IR) rate
Aged 18 or over and in remunerative work:-
-gross income less than £126.00
-gross income not less than £126.00 but less than £186.00
-gross income not less than £186.00 but less than £242.00
- gross income not less than £242.00 but less than £322.00
- gross income not less than £322.00 but less than £401.00
- gross income not less than £401.00
LHA rates for rooms have been based upon the median (the 'average') rental charge in an area. This is reduced to the lower third.
So, in each market area, if there were 100 rental properties, the LHA rates would be based on the 30th lowest rent of those 100 properties, rather than the middle. This means generally, that LHA will only cover cheaper rents. Anyone wanting to remain in a higher rented property will have to find the difference, or they will have to move to a cheaper property or move to a 'cheaper' area.
Current claimants will have their rate reduced on the anniversary date of their claim after 1 April 2011. The Government has allowed a transitional protection period of a further nine months from the anniversary date.