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Latest News

Working Tax Credit Changes (April 2012)

  • A couple are only able to claim Working Tax Credit from April 2012 if they work a minimum of 24 hours a week between them, with one working at least 16 hours.
  • NOTE: This new 24 hour rule does not apply if one of the couple is ‘disabled’ (is entitled to the ‘disability element’ such as gets a sickness or disability benefit), or the worker is over 60 or the other partner is in hospital or prison.

Another way to claim Working Tax Credit (WTC) is by those aged 50 or over (They also get an extra amounts added weekly for the first year of working) who are starting work after being on certain benefits for six months. This route to WTC is abolished. But it does not stop them getting WTC for other reasons.

The backdating of claims reduces from 3 to 1 month. This also applies to backdating increases of existing awards for changes in circumstances.

Falls in income of up to £2,500 will be ignored. This new rule means that Tax Credits will not be increased for the first £2,500 fall in income.

Housing Benefit / LHA Changes  (January 2012)

Another Tory cut making single people under 35 (Previously under 25’s) only eligible for the single shared room rate from January 2012.

Problems for Carers and ESA Transfer

Proposed DLA changes


Some of the known benefit changes recently

Spending Review October 20th 2010

Emergency Budget Update 2010

Transition from Incapacity to ESA

Changes to child maintenance from April 2010

Child maintenance payments being fully disregarded in the calculation of income when claiming Income Support, JSA and Employment and Support Allowance, further information Here

January 2010

Check if your due the £25 cold weather payment Here or use this more up to date PDF document to check

July 2009

Plans to stop Attendance Allowance

Disabled and carers are up in arms at possible plans to pay Attendance Allowance (A.A) directly to local council’s social services departments.

More information can be found here.

July 2009

Industrial Injuries Extended

Miners or ex miners affected by osteoarthritis in the knee may be able to claim this new Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, they must have worked as a coal minor for at least 10 years. Some other rules also apply.

5th August 2009

New regulations allow a new disregard from a claimant’s earnings in respect of childcare charges where a child is cared for by a foster parent (other than the child’s own foster parent) or a domiciliary care worker or where the child is looked after in their home by someone other than a relative.

02 September 2009

Increasing the permitted work earnings limit from October 2009

New regulations (SI/318/2009) have been issued that increase the permitted work earnings limit for Incapacity Benefits purposes.

This is the amount that can be earned without a person being treated as not having limited capability for work or being capable of work for the purpose of Employment Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit and related benefits.

In force from 1 October 2009 increasing the permitted work earnings limit from £92.00 to £93.00 per week.

Further these increases are are applied to the limits applying to councillors receiving Incapacity Benefits and to recipients of Unemployability Supplement under the Industrial Injuries scheme.

September 8th 2009

Benefit complexity making it difficult for Carers

Say’s a new report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee

The complexity of the benefits system is making it difficult for Carers to access support, the Commons Public Accounts Committee has said.

In a new report, ‘Supporting Carers to Care’, the Committee highlights that whilst there are an estimated six million unpaid Carers in the UK, less than a million are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance. More Information here

Septemebr 18th 2009

Childcare warning to parents

Under recent changes to the law in England some providers of childcare who were approved for tax credits under the old rules must now meet new registration requirements.

Parents should now check whether their providers are still registered under the new rules. If they continue to claim tax credits on childcare costs paid to unregistered providers, they could be left with large overpayments and possibly even penalties. More Information here

October 14th 2009

Common Law Overpayment Recovery

DWP not able to seek overpaid non recoverable benefits through the courts. More info here

November 2009 (Two very important changes below)

Capital limit increases

New regulations increase the £6,000 lower capital starting level for people 60 and over on Housing and Council Tax Benefit and Pension Credit will increase to £10,000 before it is counted as capital.

In Housing and Council Tax Benefit any Child Benefit in payment is to be fully disregarded as income for the purposes of calculating income other than earnings.

To say the above will allow many people previously not entitled to Housing and Council Tax Benefit in the past to only now become entitled is an understatement.

November 2nd 2009

If you need to contact the Carers Allowance Unit in Preston the number 01253 856 123 has been changed to 0845 608 4321, you should expect to wait a bit longer to be answered. This change was made on Monday 2nd November without any warning.

December 7th 2009

Jobcentre Plus is to provide extra ’employment help’ to carers, including replacement care funding while they are taking part in employment training. More information here

December 9th 2009

Many homeowners struggling to pay mortgage interest will continue to get government support for the next six months, it was announced today.

It was also revealed the level of interest paid out, set by the Government, will remain at 6.08% until 30 June 2010.

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