East Devon District Council promotes help scheme for people on low incomes


- Credit: Archant

East Devon District Council is making changes in the way it provides financial help towards the council tax of residents on low incomes.

It’s the first time that the working-age Council Tax Support Scheme has been changed since it was introduced in 2013. The changes will bring the scheme in line with the Government’s latest welfare reforms to housing benefits and Universal Credit and will also reduce the council’s administration costs.

The changes, which come into force on April 1, do not affect pensioners as their discount scheme is set by central government. Each local authority sets its own scheme for working-age residents.

The changes are:

1. Removal of the family premium for all new claims or break in claims made after April 1 2017, or where this premium would apply for the first time to existing claims.

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2. Reducing the backdating limit from six months to one month.

3. Introducing a Minimum Income Floor for self-employed.

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4. Additional temporary absence rules for absence from Great Britain of four or more weeks.

5. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work Related Activity Component for all new ESA claims to be removed.

6. To limit the number of dependant children additions within the calculation of Council Tax Support to a maximum of two. This change will not be implemented from April 1, 2017, if the Department for Work and Pensions does not implement the same limits in Housing Benefit legislation.

7. Remove entitlement to the Severe Disability Premium when another person is paid Universal Credit (Carers Element) to look after them.

8. Remove the extra earnings disregard for Universal Credit claims only and apply the standard disregards to all applicants that are in employment.

For further information, call 01395 517446.

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