31
January
2013
|
00:00
Europe/London

All you need to know about changes to benefits


People who may be affected by the Government’s changes to benefits are being invited to attend a roadshow in their local area.



Leeds City Council has organised more roadshow events over the next two months, to make sure anyone with any concerns or questions can speak to an expert advisor in person and take away any information they may need.



This is the second phase of roadshows, the first, which were held towards the end of last year have already proved successful with many residents obtaining help and advice on all welfare reform issues.



The first roadshow is being held at Little London neighbourhood housing office this Monday (4 February) between 10am and 2pm followed by one on Wednesday 6 February at Chapel Allerton Library between 10am to 3pm.



Further welfare reform roadshows will be held at:

Hawksworth children’s centre – Thursday 7 February (2pm to 4.30pm)

Wortley neighbourhood housing office – Monday 11 February (10am to 2pm)

Moor Allerton Library – Wednesday 13 February (10am to 4pm)

Kirkstall neighbourhood housing office – Monday 25 February (10am to 2pm)

Garforth One Stop Centre - Monday 4 March (9am to 3pm)

Rothwell One Stop Centre – Monday 11 March (9am to 3pm)

Bramley neighbourhood housing office – Monday 18 March (9am to 3pm)



Later this year the Government is bringing in a number of changes which will affect the amount of benefit people get. The changes include:

Housing benefit – Nationally the amount of Housing Benefit paid to working age tenants who live in council or housing association properties will be reduced, where they have more bedrooms than the family needs under the regulations.

Benefit Cap - There will be a national cap on the amount of benefits a single person or family can receive. The cap is limited to £500 per family, and £350 for a single person.

Council Tax Benefit – The Government has reduced funding for local council tax benefit schemes and this means will see most working age customers receiving less support.

Universal Credit - Universal Credit will replace the following means tested benefits; Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits. It will be paid as a single monthly payment of benefits and be paid in arrears.



In order to help everyone be as prepared for these as possible the council has arranged these roadshows where information and advice will be available from council benefits advisors on all aspects of the government’s changes to welfare provision.



Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“I am deeply concerned about the impact that the full range of welfare reforms is going to have on many people across the city.



“As a responsible council and social landlord, we want to make sure all affected people are fully aware of the impact this may have on them as early as possible so that they can make informed decisions about how to cope with the changes.



“These roadshows will provide a great opportunity for anyone with any concerns or questions to speak to people who can hopefully offer a solution or reassurance.



“It is sadly inevitable that some people will need to adapt to receiving less benefits than they do now, and some may need to move to a smaller property but rest assured we have teams in place ready to offer support and advice to help minimise any confusion and disruption as far as we possibly can.”



For further information and any updates on new road shows please visit leeds.gov.uk/benefits.



ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk