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Revenues and Benefits
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
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Money advice



PDF icon Money advice [977KB]

PDF icon Money advice for carers and people with disabilities [1MB]

Welfare Reform Agenda

Big changes to the welfare system were introduced from April 2013 as part of the Government's Welfare Reform Agenda.

These changes aim to help make the benefits and tax credits system fairer and simpler by:

  • Encouraging more people into work.
  • Protecting the most vulnerable people in our society.
  • Delivering fairness to those claiming benefits and the taxpayer.

It is expected that everyone in Plymouth will either be directly affected by these changes or know someone who is affected.

Plymouth City Council has consulted with residents to introduce a fair entitlement system which reduces inequalities across the city.

Changes include:

Council Tax Support - April 2014

The biggest change of the scheme for this year is that the maximum amount of support that can be awarded to working age citizens has increased from 75% to 80%.

Council Tax Support - April 2013

The national Council Tax Benefit scheme was abolished and all local councils were required to create and implement a new local reduction scheme. Plymouth's funding has also been cut by £2.6million.

Pensioners receiving support through the current Council Tax Benefit scheme have been protected, and their support has not changed.

Following consultation with local residents Plymouth's Council Tax Support scheme:

  • Disregards income from war disablement pension when determining levels of support. Other income is taken into account.
  • Takes into account savings of more than £6,000 for claimants of working age. We have increased this value from £3,000 originally proposed.
  • Households in property Bands E and above are subject to a maximum level of support equivalent to Band E level only. This has increased from the consultation with residents which proposed a maximum Band D level.
  • Remove the Second Adult Rebate discount. for working age residents.
  • Reduce Council Tax Support for all working age residents by 25 per cent - not by 30 per cent as proposed prior to consultation.

For more information visit our frequently asked questions page.

Social Fund replacement - April 2013

Prior to April 2013 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) administered a Social Fund which provideed crisis loans and community care grants. From April 2013 all local councils have been required to design and deliver a localised welfare assistance scheme with a funding cut.

The fund is only applicable for people in crisis situations.

Our latest news story outlines the new Emergency and Welfare Fund.

See our Emergency and Welfare Fund page for more information and how to apply online.

Benefits cap - July 2013

From July 2013 the total benefits (including housing benefit) paid to a working age household in Plymouth will be limited to £500 per week for couples and lone parents and £350 per week for single adults. Households who receive more than this will lose the extra amount from their housing benefit.

Visit our benefit cap page for more information.

To get an estimate of how much your Housing Benefit could be reduced by if you exceed the level of benefit cap use the benefit calculator on the Directgov website.

Changes to benefits for those living in social housing - April 2013

From April 2013 the government introduced size restrictions for working age tenants on housing benefit who are renting from a registered housing association or other registered social landlord. This means that the eligible rent for calculating housing benefit will be reduced by 14 per cent for customers who have one spare bedroom and 25 per cent for customers with two or more spare bedrooms.

Visit our under occupancy page for more information about size restrictions in social housing.

Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) - April 2013

The Government is introducing a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for eligible working age people.

Personal Independence Payment is based on an assessment of individual need. People claiming this benefit will need to reapply and undertake a medical assessment. This will be done in a phased approach across the country. The Department for Work and Pensions will contact you if you are going to affected by this.

The new assessment will focus on an individual's ability to carry out a range of key activities necessary to everyday life. Information will be gathered from the individual, as well as healthcare and other professionals who work with and support them. Most people will also be asked to a face to face consultation with a trained independent assessor as part of the claim process.

You should contact the DWP if you need further advice. Visit their website for more information on Personal Independence Payments.

Use the PIP-checker to see how this affects you

Universal Credits - October 2013

In a phased approach from October 2013 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be processing Universal Credit claims. This will replace some current benefits such as; Housing Benefit, Carer's Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, income based Jobseekers Allowance and income related Employment Support Allowance.

The universal credit will be paid as one payment on a monthly basis to a bank account of the nominated 'head of the household'.

You should contact the DWP if you need further advice. Visit the DWP website for more information about Universal Credit.

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