In prescribed circumstances, an award of council tax support will be extended for a period of up to four weeks where entitlement to certain qualifying benefits ends due to:
- starting employment either employed or self-employed
- a claimant increasing working hours to 16 hours or more
- a partner increasing working hours to 24 hours or more
- increasing earnings to an amount that ends entitlement to Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)/Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) or (Income Based)/Severe Disablement Allowance / Employment Support Allowance (Contribution Based)
The aim is to help incentivise long-term unemployed, sick or disabled people to take up work, earn more income or work more hours. To qualify for extended payments:
- The claimant must expect their job or increased hours to last at least five weeks
- The claimant or their partner has been entitled to Employment and Support Allowance – Income related (ESA [IR]), Jobseekers Allowance – Income Based (JSA [IB]), Jobseekers Allowance – Contribution Based (JSA [C]) or Income Support continuously for at least 26 weeks (or any combination of these)
Immediately prior to starting work the customer or partner must have been on ESA (IR), JSA (IB) or Income Support.
The claimant or partner has been entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (contribution-based), Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance and again their job or increased hours is expected to last for five weeks or more and they have been entitled to the above benefit continuously for 26 weeks.
In both cases their benefit must cease due to the result of them starting work or increasing their hours.
The Council will continue to allow extended payments up to a maximum of four weeks because this incentivises people to work or take on extra hours of work and any claimant moving into employment is likely to receive their first payment from their new employer within this timescale.