Changes to the State Benefit System
You will have heard about the major changes being made to the entire benefits system in an effort to make it simpler and more efficient.
Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Tax Credits and Income Based Employment & Support Allowance. All of these benefits will be abolished in favour of one over-arching benefit called Universal Credit. Implementation is being staggered through the country and in Surrey we expect this to start in October 2013. Disability Benefits are also being replaced by the Personal Independence Payment nationally for new claimants from June 2013.
There are changes also to other benefits. For example income restrictions apply to Child Benefit and Council Tax Benefit is abolished in favour of local schemes in our case from Mole Valley District Council. The Social Fund Crisis loans and community care grants are also abolished and Surrey County Council has implemented a scheme (to be used as a last resort) to help people in crisis and most of the CAB’s in Surrey can help clients to access this scheme.
Do you know anyone who receives these benefits? Why not direct them towards the Citizens Advice Bureau for advice. The CAB realises that all of these changes will generate significant additional demand for advice so they have set up a national Welfare Reform Programme. Amongst other things this will include basic budgeting advice to families to help them cope with monthly rather than weekly or fortnightly payments and support for clients who may have to manage with less money.
The Advice Line telephone service operates from 10.00am till 4.00pm Monday to Friday. Make a note of the number: 08 444 111 444. Both of our Leatherhead and Dorking Bureau offices are open Mondays to Fridays and anyone is welcome to drop in between 10.00am and 1.00pm. Appointments are also held in the afternoons and some evenings. Alternatively call the advice line on 08 444 111 444. If you know of any local issues which you think the CAB might be able to help with please ring the manager Anne Haigh on 01372 361160 or 01306 876806
LEATHERHEAD AND DORKING CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
The Georgian House, Swan Mews, Lyons Court, Dorking ,
Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8AE Surrey RH4 1AB
Tel:- 08 444 111 444 Tel:- 08 444 111 444