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Advice & Benefits

Housing benefit and council tax reduction scheme

These pages provide information about benefit changes, including to housing benefit and the council tax reduction scheme (which used to be known as council tax benefit). As well as information about benefit capping, universal credit and how to get help and support if you are struggling to pay.


Changes to benefits

On 1 April 2013, the government’s changes to council tax benefit came into effect. Local council’s had to create a new council tax reduction scheme to replace council tax benefit, at the same time as their funding was cut. This means that many more people now have to pay towards their council tax bill than before April 2013.


New under occupancy rules (also known as the bedroom tax) for tenants in council and social housing also began on 1 April. This means that people who are classed as under occupying their home will have their housing benefit reduced.


A national benefits cap was introduced to Leicester in August 2013 by the Government – this means that the total amount of weekly benefit that a household can receive is being capped at a maximum of £500 for a family and £350 for a single person.


The government is also introducing a new scheme called universal credit. We are not sure when this will be introduced in Leicester.


Local housing allowance

Local housing allowance (LHA) is the amount of money you may receive towards your private sector rent. This is set locally to reflect differing prices around the country.


Benefit calculator

It can be confusing trying to work out how much money you may be entitled to. You can use our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Calculator to estimate how much benefit you may be entitled to. This information can be automatically added to your online claim form if you decide to apply.

The government’s website also has a benefits adviser to help you with other benefits.


Get advice on making a claim


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