6 April, 2020
Amendments to housing benefit due to the coronavirus outbreak
New DWP guidance
New guidance has been issued in relation to amendments to housing benefit made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
In HB Circular A7/2020, the DWP provides guidance on changes to housing benefit provided for by the Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) Regulations 2020 that include that -
- the rate of the additional earnings disregard is increased from £17.10 to £37.10, with effect from 6 April 2020, to take into account the temporary increase in the basic element of working tax credit (WTC);
- increases in the basic element of WTC will be applied to claims in batches over a 35 day period from 9 April 2020, which will result in the increase from 6 April 2020 being paid as arrears, and treated as capital and disregarded for 52 weeks; and
- claimants who have been furloughed, or whose hours have been reduced temporarily, will continue to be entitled to WTC as they will be treated as still working their normal hours for eight weeks, after which entitlement will be reviewed - this means they will also continue to be entitled to the additional earnings disregard for the same period.
HB Circular A7/2020 is available from gov.uk