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June 02, 2010 Extra help with fuel bills for pension credit claimants The Energy Rebate Scheme provides for pension credit claimants to receive a one-off.

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Presentation on theme: "June 02, 2010 Extra help with fuel bills for pension credit claimants The Energy Rebate Scheme provides for pension credit claimants to receive a one-off."— Presentation transcript:

1 June 02, 2010 Extra help with fuel bills for pension credit claimants The Energy Rebate Scheme provides for pension credit claimants to receive a one-off £80 'payment' towards their fuel bills.

2 Where at least one person is aged 70 or over, and in receipt of the guarantee credit element of pension credit on 26 March 2010, will qualify for the extra help, which will be 'paid' - by energy companies automatically subtracting it from the householder's bill – this is in addition to the winter fuel payment.

3 April 2010 Changes to child maintenance Child maintenance payments are now fully disregarded in the calculation of income when claiming Income Support, JSA and Employment and Support Allowance

4 Single Parent: Fiona has Child Tax Credits & Child Benefit for her 4 children aged 5,7,11 & 14 the oldest has just got Disability Living Allowance and mum has recently claimed Carers Allowance at £53.90 weekly. She has Child Support from her ex- partner at £135 weekly.

5 She has a mortgage at £60 weekly and pays Council Tax at £20 weekly. She did try for Income Support a few months ago but due to her high income she was turned down.

6 Calculation before April changes Income Support £ Income £ Single person £65.45 Maintenance (£20 ignored) £ 115 Carer Premium £30.05 Carers Allowance £ Total £95.50 £ Excess income £73.40 (£ £95.50 = £73.40) No Income Support due

7 Calculation after April changes? Income Support £ Income £ Single person £65.45 Maintenance (All ignored) £ Carer Premium £30.05 Carers Allowance £ Total £95.50 £ Income Support due £41.60 weekly (£ £53.90 = £41.60)

8 Income Support will also pay her mortgage interest at £60 weekly and passport her to full help with her Council Tax at £20 weekly Other passports include free prescriptions, dental treatment, school meals, school clothing grant etc, etc.

9 6 April 2010 Adult dependent additions with Carers Allowance, Maternity Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Retirement Pension abolished from now. Existing dependent additions in payment pre April 2010 continue till It is still possible to backdate partner additions three months before the change date, once included they will continue after April 2010

10 6 April 2010 Pension equalisation and pension age changes Female Pension Age increases gradually from April 2010 If you are a woman and are reaching 60 after April 2010 you will have to work longer before you can claim your State Pension.

11 Other benefits for older people (Men & Women) will also be affected by these changes The earliest age for claiming Pension Credit for both men and women will gradually increase from 60 to 65 in line with the above female retirement age. Women will be able to continue to claim working age benefits like Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance until they reach their new official retirement age Winter Fuel Payments minimum age will also gradually increase from 60 to 65

12 April 2010 New National Insurance Credit This new credit replaces home responsibility protection for certain Parents with children under 12 and Carers for certain disabled people

13 This new national insurance credit is available to people who provide care for one or more disabled person(s) for a total of 20 hours or more each week, where they do not currently receive Carer's Allowance. This new national insurance credit is available to people who provide care for one or more disabled person(s) for a total of 20 hours or more each week, where they do not currently receive Carer's Allowance.

14 May 13th 2010 New government to end all existing welfare to work programmes and replace with a single programme All existing welfare to work programmes are to be ended and replaced by single programme designed to help all unemployed people get back into work, according to the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrat Party coalition agreement.

15 2 nd November 2009 Lower capital limit in: Pension Credit (PC) Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Benefit starts at £6,000 anything over this and they reduce your entitlements at £1 per £500 over the £6,000 lower limit. E.g £17,000 in savings would lose you £22 weekly from PC, HB or CTB if claimed. This lower limit is increase for pensioners from £6,000 to £10,000 from 2 nd November.

16 Case Study: John is 63. He has Incapacity Benefit at £91.40 weekly and £29,000 in savings. He pays £55 rent and £15 Council Tax

17 Calculation (Pre Changes): Income: Incapacity Benefit £91.40 Tariff from savings £46.00 (£29,000 - £6,000 = £23,000) Total £ Pension Credit Amount £ wkly Nil Pension Credit due as income to high by £4.80

18 As he does not get Pension Credit Guarantee and as he has over £16,000 in savings he is not entitled to any help with his rent at £55 weekly and Council Tax at £15 weekly either.

19 Calculation (Post Changes): Income: Incapacity Benefit £91.40 Tariff from savings £38.00 (£29,000 - £10,000 = £19,000) Total £ Pension Credit Amount £ wkly Pension Credit now due at £3.20 weekly giving full help with the rent at £55 and council tax at £15 weekly. Total extra weekly income £73.20

20 6 April 2010 “Fit note” rolled out A new “fit note” to replace the “sick note”. It asks GP’s to consider work their patient can do as well as what they can’t do. This is part of a package of proposals aimed to keep people in work rather than long periods away from work

21 From 6 th April 2009 People moving off Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) after 26 weeks to start a business or self- employment will be eligible for a new “Self Employment Credit” The new Credit, which will be administered by Jobcentre Plus, will be paid at the rate of £50 per week for a period of up to 16 weeks to those who -

22 End their claim to JSA by moving into self-employed work of 16 hours or more Provide information to their Jobcentre Plus personal adviser on the self employed work they are to undertake Show that the work will last at least five weeks Register with HMRC as self-employed and Not be claiming any other in-work credit payments, eg the Return to Work Credit or the In-Work Credit. The Self-Employment Credit is an extension of the existing Return to Work Credit and will therefore be disregarded for HB/CTB purposes.

23 April 2010 Permitted work rules extended to Housing and Council Tax Benefit Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance claimants can work so long as they earn less than £93 a week. The problem has been that mostly, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit still only ignored up to £20. Now these benefits will also ignore £93 a week for those on this level of permitted work. However, Income Support will still only ignore £20 a week

24 6 April 2009 Older young people can get Income Support whilst in education Certain young people can get Income Support whilst in full time non advanced education until their 20th birthday. From now this increases to 21. This applies to ‘vulnerable’ young people who for example, are estranged from their parents or orphaned and who started education before their 19th birthday.

25 Social Fund (SF) Community Care Grant (CCG) & Crisis Loan (CL) Until 1 st September 2008 you could not re-apply for another CCG or CL for the same item within 26 weeks (Unless there had been a change in circumstances). From 1 st September 2008 this rule has changed to 28 days rather than the previous 26 weeks. This is something Inverness who administer the SF for this area seem to have overlooked.

26 Employment Support Allowance (ESA) ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Income Support (IS) paid on Incapacity grounds for most new claimants from 27 th October ESA continues to be paid pending appeal. If you fail to score the required 15 points to continue getting ESA? As long as you submit a valid appeal and sick-lines you remain entitled to ESA until the appeal is decided, this can take months. No requirement to repay anything if you lose at appeal. JC+ confirm that 85%+ are failing the strict ESA test.

27 31 st July 2009 Working Tax Credits This now continue for 4 weeks after stopping work or hours dropping below 16. This has been added to in that from 31 st July 2009 this 4 week run on will also include the child care element as well if previously included.

28 26 th October 2009 Income Support (IS) To be eligible for IS as a lone parent you must have a child under 12, this is reduced to under 10 from 26 th October 2009 (Under 7 from October 2010) Many existing lone parents with a child approaching 10 and claiming IS now may still be eligible for IS after this date under new grounds. Others will have to sign on for Jobseekers Allowance after this date.

29 Making Housing Benefit payments direct to those living in temporary accommodation No longer considered to be a 'key priority', DWP advises The DWP has abandoned its plans to test the impact of making Housing Benefit payments direct to claimants living in temporary accommodation. Thank the lord for this!

30 5 April 2010 Local Housing Allowance honeymoon continues for now This allows claimants to keep the difference if their Local Housing Allowance is higher than their rent. This could be up to a maximum of £15 a week. This extra was to be stopped now but will continue until April 2011.

31 What does this mean for people we are working with? Example: David is on Income Support due to his learning disability he has been on HB for years so is under the old HB rule’s. He is single aged 54 and gets paid £58 weekly HB towards his private rented property which costs him £70 weekly, so he has to find the £12 weekly from his Income Support. He is now facing eviction for rent arrears as he has not been able to afford the extra £12 weekly. Can you help David!

32 If only David could get LHA instead of his existing low HB under the old rules? He would get the May 2010 one bedroom LHA rate under the new rules. So he would get £80.77 weekly that’s the full £70 weekly rent covered and he would keep the extra £10.77 weekly to use towards his rent arrears to hopefully stop him being evicted.

33 We contacted his landlord to explain that David was going to stop his on-going HB for one week. This will allow him to change to LHA with future payments direct to the landlord due to the arrears. He will lose one weeks HB at £58 so his rent arrears will increase in the short term but he will then get the full £70 rent covered by LHA and be in a position to make payments towards his arrears due to the extra £10.77 LHA weekly. The landlord was delighted.

34 March 2009 When request a DLA claim pack by phoning, visiting, postal requests or on-line DWP staff (Untrained medically) are now using a list of points based questions and refusing a new claim pack if the required number of points is not reached. You must insist that a pack is sent out in these circumstances.

35 Disability Living Allowance (DLA) DLA renewals are now being sent out three months before the expire date, previously this was six months before. This will mean many disabled people will not get then back quick enough and may have it stopped before a new decision is made. Many people with disabled cars, scooters or wheelchairs via motability will need to get the forms back very quickly or they might not have a new award to continue or renew a further motability vehicle.

36 January 21, 2010 Hundreds of DLA claimants to be contacted under new 'Correctness Programme' initiative Enquiry forms are to being issued to hundreds of DLA claimants where information received through its benefits fraud hotline, despite not being strong enough for a full fraud investigation.

37 January 26 th 2010 Carer's allowance earnings limit to increase from April 2010 Change expected to benefit 40,000 carers says Minister for Disabled People The increase from £95 to £100


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