Coronavirus - changes to benefits since the outbreak

Changes to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

The Government announced some changes to the benefits system to support people through the Coronavirus pandemic. Below we have listed the changes that will affect Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Support Scheme (CTS).

If your claim is affected by any of the changes below - you do not need to contact us. We will make the changes automatically in the week starting 13 April 2020.

Local Housing Allowance

From 1 April 2020 Local Housing Allowance figures will increase to cover at least 30 per cent of market rent in this area.

What does this mean?

If your Housing Benefit is worked out using an LHA figure you will see the change in amount from:

  • 1 April 2020 for calendar monthly rents
  • 6 April 2020 - for weekly, fortnightly or four-weekly rents

Your Housing Benefit will still be worked out using the normal benefit calculation and what you get will be based on the new LHA figure.

  • If your rent is more than the LHA figure - you can only get up to the LHA amount in benefit
  • If your rent is less than the LHA figure - you can only get up to the value of your rent in benefit

LHA figures from 1 April 2020

Changes to the Housing Benefit earnings disregard

The Housing Benefit additional earnings disregard has been increased from £17.10 to £37.10.

What does this mean?

The additional earnings disregard is an amount we can ignore from your wages or Working Tax Credit amount if you meet the criteria.

Why has this happened?

During this time Working Tax Credit has been increased by up to £20.00 per week and if you get this your HB and CTS may go down. The additional earnings disregard increase means we can ignore more of your income and will make sure you keep as much of your HB as possible.

If you are not getting Working Tax Credit - you can still benefit from the increased disregard if you meet the criteria.

We will send you a notification letter to show how the LHA and earnings disregard changes to legislation have affected your Housing Benefit. The HB notification letter will say 'A Change in Liability' or 'A Change in Financial Circumstances'. A recalculated Council Tax bill will be issued if your Council Tax Support entitlement is affected.