PEOPLE with children in North Devon may see an increase in their council tax or housing benefit from now on. From Monday, the law was changed so that child benefit will no longer be taken into account when calculating council tax or housing benefit. Cou

PEOPLE with children in North Devon may see an increase in their council tax or housing benefit from now on.

From Monday, the law was changed so that child benefit will no longer be taken into account when calculating council tax or housing benefit.

Councillor David Luggar, Lead Member for Revenues and Benefits at North Devon Council, said: "These changes may mean that you're now eligible to receive an increase in council tax or housing benefits, or that you may now qualify for those benefits when you didn't in the past. Times are hard at the moment for everyone, so I'm sure this will be welcome news for local families who may be struggling to make ends meet."

If customers already get housing and council tax benefits they do not need to do anything, as claims will be automatically recalculated and letters sent out to tell them if they are entitled to an increase.

For other people who receive child benefit, but haven't previously been entitled to housing or council tax benefit, then the changes may mean they do now qualify. To find out if this is the case, customers in North Devon should phone the Customer Support Team on (01271) 388360.

People in Torridge can also find out if they are entitled to claim by calling Torridge District Council on (01237) 428700 and asking for benefits.