Chance to help those at bottom

There are hundreds of housing benefit claimants in the private sector in Sheffield, and thousands nationally, whose claims are based on old rules and who could benefit significantly by moving their claims to the current rules.

Private claims from before 7.4.08 come under 'Max. Rent' (MR) rules. After that they are under Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules. The LHA is much more generous and customers can transfer their claims if they wish.

The LHA will be cut in April so the benefits of transferring will become marginal. A campaign is needed now to encourage claimants to get on to Capita , check the figures and get their claims moved if it benefits them.

If claims are made in March they are likely to be assessed in April and miss the more generous rate. If they hit it now they keep the higher rate for up to 52 weeks.

The affected group includes many pensioners, disabled people and lone parents, often from ethnic minorities dotted around the city with few social connections.

This is a chance to really help those at the bottom of pile in difficult times.

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