Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Support (CTS)
|Caseloads||Sep-18||Sep-17||Sep-16||Sep-15||Annual Change 2017-18|
|Total CTS Claimants**||65,300||67,182||70,019||73,245||-1,882|
|Total HB Claimants||59,290||60,730||64,181||68,044||-1,440|
|Total combined caseload for HB&CTS***||72,168||74,297||77,857||82,053||-2,129|
|Expenditure||2018/19||2017/18||2016/17||2015/16||Annual Change 16/17-17/18|
|Source: LCC Welfare Benefits, Jan 2019|
|** Benefit paid in respect of CT has been Council Tax Support, not Council Tax Benefit, with effect start of 2013/14|
|*** Where a customer receives both HB & CTS, this will count as one claim (to avoid double counting). Similarly if a claim has only HB, it is counted as one claim, or if a claim is receiving CTS only, this would count as one claim|
65,300 households claimed Council Tax Support (CTS) in Sep 2018. The number of claims for CTS decreased by 1,882 in the last year. 59,290 households claimed Housing Benefit (HB) in Sep 2018. The number of HB claims fell by 1,440 in the year from Sep 2017 to Sep 2018. Combined in 2018, there were 72,168 households in Leeds requiring at least one local authority benefit.
The caseloads for CTS in Sep 2017 resulted in expenditure for Sept 2017/18 of £47.7m across Leeds. The caseloads for HB in Sep 2017 resulted in expenditure for Sept 2017/18 of £257.3m across Leeds. This figure fell by £14.8m in the last 12 months.
Welfare Reform Impacts on Housing Benefits
|Housing Benefit||Sep-19||Sep-18||Annual Change *|
|No of claims affected by under occupation||4212||5,272||-1,060|
|Weekly loss in HB, affected by under occ||£54,008||£68,018||-£14,010|
|No of under occ claims clients w/rent arrears||1,281||1,915||-634|
|No of claims affected by the Benefit Cap||551||826||-275|
|Total weekly reduction (due to Benefit Cap)||£31,139||£48,525||-£17,386|
|Source: LCC Welfare Benefits monthly reporting September 2019|
The number of households claiming housing benefit affected by the under-occupancy changes as of September 2019 was 4212. The 4212 households affected by the under occupancy rule are losing a total of £54,008 a week. This is an average of £12.82 cut from each household a week.
Of the same 4212 claims, 1281 households were in rent arrears. This figure has fallen by 634 claims since Sep 2018.
The overall number affected in Leeds by the Benefit Cap was 551 in September 2019. The total weekly reduction for claims affected by the Benefit Cap in Leeds was £31139 in September 2019. This means an overall average of £56.51 is being reduced across 551 households in Leeds.
* There are significant decreases in the numbers and values reported in each area. This is not necessarily a decrease in those affected by these Welfare Reforms, and can instead be attributed to claims moving from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit. Once the claim for Housing Benefit has ended, the local authority no longer have access to details of how/if these cases are affected by Welfare Reform.
To put this change of numbers in to perspective, in September 2018, the total Housing Benefit caseload was 59,290, but by the most recent caseload count as of November 2019 this has decreased to 46,496.
Welfare Reform Impacts on Housing Benefits – Discretionary Housing Payments
|Case Categories||Awards||Total Cost||Awards||Total Cost||Awards||Total Cost|
|Approach Pension Cred age||21||£11,313||6||£1,740||11||£5,220|
|Housing and birth||69||£21,087||43||£9,614||29||£7400|
|Private Sector Cases||81||£44,914||43||£23,364||40||£29,411|
|Benefit Cap Cases||815||£533,378||688||£872,331||414||£472,256|
|Source: LCC Welfare Benefits monthly reporting March 2019|
The DHP scheme provides support to tenants affected by the welfare changes. Total DHP awards made in 2018/19 reached 3,320 cases. The value in awards and renewals totalled almost £2.9m. Of this over £700,000 (27%) was awarded to 1,803 priority groups with under occupancy cases in the social housing sector. Other awards detail show that:
- 38 awards were made to the Significantly Adapted priority group. This is provided where people living in an adapted property for disability where moving to un-adapted property is not appropriate.
- 183 awards were made for the Child Access priority group. This is provided where people requiring 2 bedrooms for child access arrangements but were only deemed to require 1 bedroom.
- 11 awards were made to people due to reach Pension Credit age during the current financial year who will no longer be affected by the under-occupation rules and therefore receive short term support
- 29 awards were made to people pregnant and due to give birth during the financial year who will be under-occupied until the birth of their baby.
- There were 1,537 awards made to people deemed to have sufficient exceptional circumstances to qualify for support.
- 5 People have been awarded the additional bedroom under the foster carer rules but still under-occupying, therefore receive full DHP support award.
- £1.1m has been awarded in renewal cases during 2018/19. Renewals are for people who have received DHP in previous years and who fall into one of the priority groups. They continue to be eligible into the following financial year.
- 377 awards were made to the Universal Credit cases. These awards go to clients who receive universal credit but have a shortfall in their rent.
Local Welfare Support Scheme
|Type of award||No of awards||Value of spend||No of awards||Value of spend||No of awards||Value of spend||No of awards||Value of spend|
|Fareshare food referrals*||963||–||609||–||467||–||385||–|
|Source: LCC Welfare Benefits monthly reporting April 2020
*Emergency provision for food
The Local Welfare Support scheme, which has replaced the Social Fund scheme in Leeds, provides goods and services rather than cash for those in need. In 2019/20 £531,172 was spent on direct award support which has resulted in 4,594 direct awards from the scheme covering items such as Fuel, White and Brown goods, flooring and removals. The emergency food provision is food distributed via referrals to FareShare and is delivered at no cost to the LWS scheme.
Welfare Reform Impacts on Council Tax
|Council Tax||Sep-19||Sep-18||Annual Change|
|No of claims affected by the localised council tax support||12,949||19,085||-6,136|
|Weekly loss of benefit for claims affected by CTS||£51,063||£71,161||-20,098|
|CT liability of claims prev in receipt of full CTB||£3,852,331||£3,299,680||552,651|
|Source: LCC Welfare Benefits monthly reporting September 2019|
12,949 households, who would previously have had full council tax support, now have to pay 25% of their council tax. The number of claims to CTS has fallen by 6136 on the previous year.
In total, the 12949 households have effectively lost £51,063 of their weekly benefit. This is an average loss of £3.94 a week to each of these households.
The 12949 households now liable to pay 25% of their council tax bill pay a total of £3.8m. This is an average of £298 owed per year in Council Tax by each of these households.
|Oct 2019||Not in employment||In employment||Total on UC||Not in employment||In employment|
|Source: DWP Universal Credit Statistics, Nov 2019|
In October 2019, there were 27,949 claimants of UC, 18,467 were not in work (66%) and 9,479 were in work (34%). The Leeds rate closely resembles the national picture where only 36% of all UC claimants are currently in work.
|Claimants on Out-of-work Legacy Benefits||Households on In-work Legacy Tax Credits|
|Feb 2019||Apr 2019|
|Source: DWP Stat Xplore and HMRC Tax Credits|
Over 50,000 people were claiming out-of-work legacy benefits (February 2019) and 32,000 were claiming in-work tax credits (April 2019).
The latest out-of-work benefits data is available for February 2019 and is a total of:
· Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
· Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
· Income Support
· Housing Benefit: claimants aged 16-64 who are not in employment and not ‘passported’
The latest in-work data is from HMRC data on tax credits for April 2019 and is th total of:
· Child Tax Credits for in-work households
· Working Tax Credits for in-work households
Further Information: Universal Credit
Universal Credit (UC) is a change to the benefits system which provides a single payment based upon the circumstances of the household. UC is now a means-tested benefit which means it is available to people who are in work and on a low income, as well as to those who are out-of-work. Support for housing costs, children and childcare costs are integrated into UC. It also provides additions for disabled people and carers. Claimants will receive a single monthly household payment, paid into a bank account in the same way as a monthly salary; support with housing costs will usually go direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment.
UC went live in Leeds on 1st February 2016. Initially, the only groups of people that will make a claim for UC are newly unemployed singles who would have previously claimed JSA. Roll out to other groups of people will started in Leeds from October 2018. The following benefits will be replaced as UC rolls out in stages across the country:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit