Cheshire East Council, working in partnership with local housing associations, is holding a series of drop-in sessions to let people know about the biggest shake-up to the benefit system for 60 years.
The Welfare Reform Act became law earlier this year as the Government aims to: create the right incentives to get more people into work; protect the most vulnerable in society; and make the benefit system fair for both claimants and the taxpayer.
The main changes are:
· Housing benefit, including new regulations in relation to under occupying within the social-rented sector and reductions in rates for under 35s residing in the private rented sector;
· Council Tax benefit is being replaced by a form of localised Council Tax support drawn up by individual councils;
· The introduction of a cap to the amount of benefits which can be received;
· The introduction of universal credit to provide a single streamlined payment; and
· Reforms to disability living allowance, through the introduction of the personal independence payment
A week-long programme of drop-in sessions will take place from October 8, where residents can find out more about the changes:
October 8 Asda,Crewe 2-5pm
October 9 Congleton Library 2-5pm
October 10 Grosvenor Centre, Macclesfield 2-5pm
October 11 Shaw Heath Social Club, Knutsford 2-5pm
October 12 Sports Pavilion, Lacey Green, Wilmslow 2-5pm
People will be able to speak to representatives from registered housing providers, the Money Advice Service and council staff from the housing benefit and adult learning teams.
Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, said: “I would advise anyone who is of working age and claiming benefits to come along and find out how the changes could affect them.
“I cannot emphasise enough how significant these changes will be and the potential impact they may have. If people find out about the changes now they will be able to plan better for the future.”