BENEFITS EXPERT: Do savings impact on benefit?

Having read your last item about Council Tax Benefit, I would like to know if personal savings are taken into account when deciding a claim. Any more detail would be appreciated.

The Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which was once known as Council Tax Benefit, had its funding cut by 10% when it was introduced in 2013 and every council must set its own rules for its Scheme. There are different rules for people of different ages and for England, Wales and Scotland.

It is therefore impossible for me to describe every scheme in detail.

Under the old Council Tax Benefit rules, people who were on the lowest incomes, such has those on means-tested benefits, were fully exempted from paying Council Tax.

Under the new scheme, however, most authorities in England have chosen to require all liable people of working age to pay something.

People who have reached Pension Credit Qualifying Age may receive either a full or partial reduction depending upon their income.

As regards savings and capital, a Council Tax Reduction is not payable where a person has capital over £16,000.

The exception to this is for people with capital over £16,000 but who still receive the Guarantee Part of Pension Credit.

I have been put on the sick for two weeks, and am only receiving £86 a week off my employer. My wife does not work and does not claim any income. Am I entitled to a rent allowance? I rent my house privately.

Generally speaking a childless couple of working age will get full Housing Benefit if their income is under £114.85 a week.

Full Housing Benefit is not necessarily the same as the rent you pay.

The maximum you can receive for a private tenancy depends upon where you live and your number of bedrooms. You can claim Housing Benefit from your local council.

In February my partner received a letter from the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Department. He is recovering from bladder cancer and other disabilities. The letter said a medical assessor would be coming to our home to examine him. When the results came back they showed that he had gone from scoring enough points for him to receive the maximum rates for the daily living and mobility components to zero. I contacted them by telephone right away and was promised an urgent call back. Despite making another call I have had no reply and his money stopped with immediate effect. What would you advise?

If your PIP claim goes against you it is worth going through the appeals process so keep on at the DWP and find a benefit advisor to help. 47% of PIP appeals are successful.