Benefits Service information

What's new in Benefits

We feel that it is important to provide you with details of the latest changes to the services we offer to make it easier for you to get the help and advice that you may need.

It is also important that we provide our customers with details of any relevant changes in the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit legislation.  We hope that our 'What's New In Benefits' page does just this and if you would like to become more involved in how our services are provided to you, please contact us at benefits@broxbourne.gov.uk.

The latest edition of our benefit newsletter is now available to read here.

Please note: the rules regarding backdating of housing benefit claims changed on 1/4/16. For claims received or treated as being received on or after this date, the maximum period that someone can request a backdate is one calendar month from the date of the form.  The rule regarding continuous good cause being shown throughout the backdate period is unchanged.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single benefit for working age claimants which will eventually replace income support, income based  jobseeker’s allowance, income related employment and support allowance, housing benefit and tax credits. The new benefit will be paid monthly in arrears and be paid to a single person in the household. Claimants will need to budget and make their own arrangements to pay their weekly or monthly rent from their Universal Credit payment.

Universal Credit is currently being rolled out across the North West of England and is currently available in 50 Jobcentres. The service is primarily being rolled out to single people but couples and families are now able to claim in certain areas. Universal Credit was rolled out in the borough on 22nd June 2015.

  • For further information on Universal Credit go to GOV.UK.
  • Frequently asked questions about Universal Credit can be viewed here
  • The Universal Credit Calculator will show your entitlement to Universal Credit and other benefits that you may be able to claim, whether in or out of work.

New online help for job seekers

DWP has launched a new online resource for job seekers. It features a range of helpful hints, tips and videos and is updated every working day, the Daily Job Seeker is an ever growing library of content to help people find work. It also includes information about Universal Credit and the ways it can help people get back to work more quickly.

Fraud

As of 1 April 2015 the fraud team has ceased its operations at Broxbourne Council and has merged with the DWP's Fraud Investigation Service.  A number of Councils across Hertfordshire have joined forces to create a Shared Anti-Fraud Service (SAFS) to investigate non-benefit fraud. To find further details on both of these services please see our Fraud page.

Council Tax Support

The Government has abolished the Council Tax Benefit scheme and has asked councils to replace it with their own locally run service called Council Tax Support. For further information please see the Council tax support page

Benefit Cap

From 7 November 2016, the Government is reducing the level of Benefit Cap on the total amount of out of work benefits that couples, lone parents and single individuals receive. This means that the maximum weekly benefit will be capped at £257 for a childless single household and £384 for a couple or a lone parent. For further information on the Benefit Cap please see the Benefit Cap page.

Spare Room Subsidy 

From 1 April 2013, if you live in  a housing association home and have one or more 'spare' bedrooms your housing benefit may be reduced. The size criteria will match the size criteria that currently apply to Housing Benefit claimants in the private rented sector and whose claims are assessed using the Local Housing Allowance rules.

For further information please see our Spare Room Subsidy Page.

You can also check how the changes to benefits could affect you by using the Welfare Reform Calculator.

Benefit Service Performance

Claims processing

Description

Full year performance

2014/15

Performance

for the month of  November 2015

Cumulative performance to 30/11/15

 Target 2015/16

Speed of processing new claims (all)

 

 

 

19 days

Housing Benefit

25.5 days

35.6 days

32.6 days

 

Council Tax Support

24.2 days

35.1 days

29.7 days

 

Speed of processing changes in circumstances (all)

 

 

 

9 days

Housing Benefit

10.4 days

7.4 days

5 days

 

Council Tax Support

7.7 days

16 days

13.1 days

 


Contact Benefits

The benefits service is open for visitors and phone calls:

 

Monday

8.30am - 5.30pm

Tuesday

8.30am - 5.30pm

Wednesday

8.30am - 5.30pm

Thursday

8.30am - 5.30pm

Friday

8.30am - 5.00pm

What do you think of our service?

We want to know what you think about our service to help us continue to improve. If you want to tell us your views or have a suggestion on how we can improve our service you can complete an online survey form or contact us at:

Benefits Service

Borough of Broxbourne

Bishops' College

Cheshunt

Herts

EN8 9XG

Phone 01992 785503 or email us at benefits@broxbourne.gov.uk