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Benefits Changes / Care and Urgent Needs

Crisis Loans / Care and Urgent Needs

LCC through One Connect have taken over the Care and Urgent Needs Support Scheme, which used to be Crisis Loans.

The guide for advisors about the scheme can be found here

 

The Welfare Reform changes have come into force. There is a new booklet produced with information about each of the changes and some guidance of sources of further help for individuals who find themselves in need because of the changes,

The booklet is published as a pdf and is available here. Copies are also available from Canon Ed Saville 

The details of the changes, and potential impact are given here. If you want to print a copy of this information it can be found here and for more information contact Canon Ed Saville ed.saville@blackburn.anglican.org 01254 503275.

Outline of benefit changes 2011-2014

Which benefit?

Who qualifies?

Is it means tested?

How much is paid?

What changes are planned or have taken place?

Dates

Potential effects already reported

Child Benefit

Those who are responsible for a child or children

No

£20.30 for the eldest child and £13.40 for others

1. No annual increase for 3 years

2. Removed from families where one parent earns £60,000 and reduced for those earning over £50,000

April 2011

April 2013

All benefits

All claimants

Both means-tested and non means-tested

Variable

Index linked to the CPI instead of the RPI

Now being uprated at 1% only - a cut in real spending power. It is agreed by economists that the effect of inflation for the lowest income families is higher than for the higher income families

April 2011

(LHA from April 2013)

CPI is lower than RPI. all CPI increases will reduce spending power of people in receipt of any benefits.

Health in Pregnancy Grant

Pregnant women from 26 weeks of pregnancy

No

One off payment of £190

Abolished

January 2011

Employment and Support Allowance

Working age people with an illness or disability that affects their ability to work. There are 2 categories, a lower rate is paid to those who are able to do some work and expected to look for it and the higher rate to those who are more disabled and cannot be expected to seek work even within their limitations.

There are 2 forms of ESA, one is means tested and one is for those who have paid enough national insurance contributions

It varies but the rate for those in the main phase of the work related activity group is £99.15 per week

1. Payment of the contributory form will be limited to 12 months for those in the work focussed activity group

2. Abolition of ESA in youth which allowed contributory ESA to be paid to those qualifying before the age of 20

3. Means tested ESA will be replaced by Universal Credit

30th April 2012. Those with 12 months payment behind them will lose it at this point and other claimants will lose as their 1 year anniversary arrives

May 2012 but those already entitled will continue to get payments for 1 year

October 2013 for new claimants. Existing claimants will move onto the new benefit at some point between then and October 2017

Child Tax Credit

Those who are responsible for children

Yes

Depends on a number of factors including number of children and whether any are disabled

1. Abolition of the baby element (£545 per year)

2. Families with over £40,000 will start to have the family element of CTC tapered away –reduced from £50,000

3. This taper will increase from 6.67% to 41%

4. Withdrawal rate where income exceeds the threshold increases from 39% to 41%

5. Income disregards change from £25,000 to £10,000

6. Extra increase in child element of CTC above indexation

7. Income disregard reduces again to £5,000

8. Disregard for falls in income introduced and no increase in benefit is given if the fall is £2,500 or less

9. The upper income protection limit for the family element is removed and so it begins to be withdrawn also with income under £40,000

10. Plans to increase the child element above indexation again are scrapped

11. Backdating reduced from 3 months to 1 month

12. Replaced by Universal Credit

April 2011

April 2012

April 2014

Working Tax Credit

Working people and couples who work for the required number of hours (this depends on the claimants circumstances) and do not earn too much

Yes

It varies according to hours worked, whether a claimant is disabled, whether there are childcare costs and how much is earned

1. Basic and 30+ hour elements frozen

2. The proportion of childcare costs that can be covered by the childcare element of WTC reduces from 80% to 70%

3. Income disregard and withdrawal rate changes apply as for CTC

4. The 50+ element is withdrawn

5. Couples are required to work 24 hours between them and 1 must work at least 16, previously only 1 had to work for 16 hours

6. Backdating and income rise and fall disregard rules changes apply as for CTC

7. Replaced by Universal Credit

April 2011

April 2012

April 2014

Income Support

Those under pension age who have a very low income and don’t have to be available for work including carers, and lone parents

Yes

It varies according to circumstances but the basic rate for a lone parent over the age of 18 is £71, child tax credit is paid on top of this for the child/children

1. Those lone parents with children of 5 and over will no longer be entitled but will have to sign on for JSA and be available for work. The amount of money won’t change but more conditionality and the risk of sanctions is attached

2. Will be replaced by Universal Credit

May 2012

For new claimants from October 2013, existing cases will move over between then and 2017

Incapacity Benefit

Paid to those under retirement age who are not able to work due to illness or disability it was abolished for new claimants from October 2008

There is a means tested form and a contribution based form as for ESA

Depends on the length of the claim and age of the claimant but the basic long term rate is £99.15

Existing claimants move onto Employment and Support Allowance. The ESA test of incapacity is stricter and so fewer claimants will qualify.

This test is made harder again

February 2011

March 2011

Many reassessed and taken off benefit and put onto JSA. Especially those with mental illness.

Those who do appeal usually overturn the original decision – but those with mental illness not likely to appeal

Local Housing Allowance

Paid to cover the rent costs for tenants renting in the private sector. There are no age restrictions but the tenant needs to be liable for rent

Yes. The LHA is higher for those with larger families

It depends upon the amount of rent charged and the claimant’s income. It also depends upon where you live

Maximum LHA rates for different parts of the Diocese are at the end of this table.

1. LHA rates are capped for each size of dwelling

2. Large increases in the rate of non dependent deductions (money stopped from benefit because other adults live in the house)

3. 5 bedroom rate is abolished

4. LHA rates set with reference to the 30th percentile instead of the 50

5. Excess rule, which allows those in cheaper properties to keep LHA of up to £15 above the actual rent rate is abolished

6. Single room rate applies to those up to the age of 35, previously applied to those up to the age of 25

7. Further increases in the rate of non dependent deductions

Benefit cap is introduced. It will cap overall benefit payments to families at £500 per week and to single people at £500 a week. Families with a disabled person and WTC recipients will not be affected

April 2011

January 2012

April 2012

April 2013

See notes below

Housing Benefit

Paid to cover the rent costs of low income tenants in social housing

Yes

Depends upon rent cost and income levels

1. Benefit will be reduced by 14% for those who have one spare bedroom and 25% for those who have 2. Does not apply to those over retirement age

2. Benefit cap applies as for LHA

April 2013

Housing officers report yoiung single mums saying that they will have to get pregnant again to fill the spare room to avoid losing benefit.

Council Tax Benefit

Paid to those on a low income to help with the costs of the Council Tax

Yes

Depends upon house value and income levels

1. Increases in non dependent deductions affect this benefit also

2. Will be abolished and replaced by a local scheme. Those over retirement age will be protected but local authorities will have to deliver the scheme with 10% less. It is likely that benefit for those of working age will be cut by about 17%

April 2011 and April 2012

April 2013

Disability Living Allowance

Claims can be made up to the age of 65. It is paid to people who have a disability that affects their ability to care for themselves and/or walk outside

No

Varies depending on the effects of the disability. Awards are between £131.50 and £20.55 per week

It will be abolished for working age claimants and replaced by Personal Independence Payments. This has very different qualifying criteria and it is expected that 20% fewer people will qualify.

April 2013

Social Fund

A set on one off payments made to those on a low income. This includes interest free loans and grants

Yes

1. Sure start maternity grants are paid to expectant/new mothers in receipt of means tested benefits. No longer paid to households that have a child under the age of 16

2. Restrictions on crisis loan payments

3. Crisis loans, budgeting loans and community care grants are abolished. Budgeting loans will be partially merged into the UC but funds for the delivery of an optional scheme to replace crisis loans and community care grants will be transferred to local authorities without ring-fencing

April 2011

April 2013

Local Housing Allowance Maxima for Private rented property in areas of the Diocese

East Lancashire -

Accommodation

Allowance per week

Blackburn Darwen, Accrington, Haslingden, Rawtenstall, Bacup and Clitheroe.

Shared Accommodation Rate

£53.50

One Bedroom

£77.31

Two Bedrooms

£90.00

Three Bedrooms

£103.85

Four Bedrooms

£138.46

Fylde Coast

Blackpool, Lytham St. Annes, Fleetwood Thornton Cleveleys,

Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham Hambleton, Stalmine, Knott End-on-Sea, Preesall and Pilling.

Shared Accommodation Rate

£58.50

One Bedroom

£86.54

Two Bedrooms

£114.23

Three Bedrooms

£130.15

Four Bedrooms

£160.00

West Pennine

Burnley Nelson, Padiham, Colne and Barnoldswick

Shared Accommodation Rate

£62.00

One Bedroom

£75.00

Two Bedrooms

£85.00

Three Bedrooms

£95.00

Four Bedrooms

£137.31

Central Lancs

Preston, Chorley, Leyland, Garstang Longridge Bamber Bridge, Penwortham, Adlington, Euxton, Coppull and Tarleton.

Shared Accommodation Rate

£50.00

One Bedroom

£86.54

Two Bedrooms

£110.77

Three Bedrooms

£126.92

Four Bedrooms

£160.38

Lancaster

Lancaster Morecambe, Heysham, Carnforth Ingleton

Shared Accommodation Rate

£52.00

One Bedroom

£91.15

Two Bedrooms

£114.23

Three Bedrooms

£126.92

Four Bedrooms

£138.46

These are correct at 27/09/2012 More detailed information and updated figures available from https://www.gov.uk/

 
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