Leeds City Council has organised 12 roadshow events over the next three months, to make sure anyone with any concerns or questions can speak to an expert advisor in person and take away any information they may need.
The South Leeds roadshow is being held on Monday 3 December at the St George’s Centre in Middleton between 9am to 3pm and will operate as a drop-in session.
From April next year the Government is bringing in a number of changes which will affect the amount of benefit people get. The changes include:
Housing benefit – under occupancy
Nationally the amount of Housing Benefit paid to working age tenants who live in council or housing association properties will be reduced, where they have more bedrooms than the family needs under the regulations.
There will be a national cap on the amount of benefits a single person or family can receive. The cap is limited to £500 per family, and £350 for a single person.
Council Tax Benefit
National funding for local council tax benefit schemes is being reduced, this could see working age customers receiving less support.
There will also be additional changes from October 2013:
Nationally there will be the introduction of the single monthly payment of benefits, this will be called Universal Credit. Universal Credit will replace the following means tested benefits; Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits.
In order to help everyone be as prepared for these as possible the council has arranged these road shows where information and advice will be available from council benefits advisors on all aspects of the government’s changes to welfare provision.
Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“I am deeply concerned about the impact that the full range of welfare reforms is going to have on many people across the city.
“As a responsible council and social landlord, we want to make sure all affected people are fully aware of the impact this may have on them as early as possible so that they can make informed decisions about how to cope with the changes.
“These roadshows will provide a great opportunity for anyone with any concerns or questions to speak to people who can hopefully offer a solution or reassurance.
“It is sadly inevitable that some people will need to adapt to receiving less benefits than they do now, and some may need to move to a smaller property but rest assured we have teams in place ready to offer support and advice to help minimise any confusion and disruption as far as we possibly can.”
For further information and any updates on new road shows please visit leeds.gov.uk/benefits.