19 March 2016

Housing Benefit Changes: Don't Delay ... Claim Today!

EHAP CardRestrictions on Backdating Housing Benefit

The restriction on the backdating of Housing Benefit Claims that was announced by the UK Government last year is due to come into operation from 1 April 2016.  This reduces the period for which a claim for Housing Benefit may be backdated from 6 months to just one month.

The right to have a claim backdated will still require a claimant to show 'good cause' for the backdate, but from April the maximum period to which this can apply will be just one month.

EHAP regularly sees people who have not been able to make a Housing Benefit claim for a wide variety of reasons, despite being entitled.  This can often put pressure on their ability to maintain full rent payments, resulting in arrears - and frequently in repossession actions by their landlords.  Where 'good cause' for late claims can be established we are currently often able to assist claimants to have their Housing Benefit claims backdated for up to 6 months. This helps the tenant and the landlord.

From April that option will become more limited.

It is very important that anyone who is considering a Housing Benefit claim, or who thinks they may have an entitlement, makes that claim before 1 April 2016, if possible.  This may allow the possibility of extending backdating of the claim for up to 6 months, where entitlement existed throughout that period, and 'good casue' for a late claim can be shown.

Anyone who wishes advice or help with this should contact us as soon as possible.

An additional change to Housing Benefit that is also being introduced from 1 May 2016 is the abolition, for new claims, of Family Premium as part of the calculation process for Housing Benefit.  This will also impact on existing claimants who have, or become responsible for, a child from that date.  This will reduce entitlement to help with housing costs.

If you are worried this might impact you, again, you can contact us for advice.

These changes come in very soon so:

Don't Delay ... Claim Today!

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