In April 2013 the Government made dramatic changes to the way they helped households in Great Britain with low incomes pay their Council Tax. After more than 20 years of providing help through the centrally controlled Council Tax Benefit system, powers of support were localised. Each local council was required to devise its own scheme that would reduce the council tax burden on those residents that needed help. Most councils call this Council Tax Support (although some call it Reduction or Rebate).
Universal Credit is one of the biggest changes to the benefits and tax credits system in the Government’s welfare reform programme. Universal Credit will change the way people receive help with living and housing costs. It will affect the amount of benefit paid to customers, the conditions of receiving that benefit and the way payments are made. The entitledto benefits calculator now includes universal credit comparisons so you can work out how you will be affected.
Last week the Government made an announcement about protection for people receiving Universal Credit who receive help with their rent. Under the new Universal Credit system people will receive one monthly lump sum payment to cover help with general living expenses and help with their housing costs (such as rent).