Colchester City Council has announced that it intends to continue to disregard up to 100% of War Disablement Pensions and War Widows' Pensions in the calculation of Housing Benefit. It means that those who receive these pensions will not have their income counted towards their entitlement to Housing Benefit, helping them to afford their rent at a time when household budgets continue to be squeezed.
The recommendation, reaffirming a policy in place for many years, will be discussed by Cabinet on 6 September.
Councillor David King, Leader of Colchester City Council and its Armed Forces Champion, said: “This is the honourable thing to do. We want to show our appreciation to those who have served our nation. This will help ensure that those who may be struggling are able to stay in their homes.”
The decision will have no financial implications for the council, as provision has already been made within the budget. It is expected to benefit around 35 households in Colchester and cost £66k.
The recommendation is in line with the national guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions. However, councils are not mandated to disregard War Disablement Pensions and War Widows' Pensions in the calculation of Housing Benefit.
Councillor King added: “Colchester is a garrison city, and the council has a long history of supporting the armed forces. As a Gold Standard signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant, we are committed to providing support to those who have served their country. This decision is a further example of that long term commitment to them and their families.”
Page last reviewed: 23 August 2023