Financial support for vulnerable residents and war veterans

West Devon’s vulnerable residents and war pensioners and widow(er)s are on the way to receive financial support with paying their rent after our Hub committee approved two financial support policies.  

At the meeting today, Tuesday 5 March, our Council which holds the Housing Benefit purse strings on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), discussed its first policy on Discretionary Housing Payments, which explains how we decide how we will support vulnerable residents who are struggling with the cost of living.

In West Devon, we help residents who receive the housing cost element of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit with short term payments to help them to cope with rent or other housing costs.

Over the past year alone, £118,233 has already been spent to support 137 West Devon residents. We expect a similar amount to be allocated for the coming year which is welcome since there has been an increase in the requests for assistance by those experiencing financial hardship within the Borough.

The Committee also approved a second policy on War Pensions Disregard Policy. They recommended that the Council continues to ignore the entire 100% war pension income when assessing Housing Benefit claims. The Hub agreed not to go with options to only discount part of the income which would have meant less support for residents with their rent. 

Each council has the option when assessing how much housing benefit a resident is entitled to and how much income should be discounted from other sources, including income from the War Disablement Pension and War Widow(er)’s Pension. 

By removing this income stream from the assessment, eligible pensioners will receive more support in paying their Housing Benefit which will help with the ongoing cost of living difficulties. 

This proposal will now proceed to the Full Council meeting for further agreement on Tuesday 26 March.

Cllr Tony Leech, Lead Member for Leisure, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Supporting our veterans is really important so by ignoring the entire total income our war pensioners continue to receive when our team are assessing Housing Benefit, this will make a difference to those who could have suffered while serving for our country.  

“Both the War Pensions Disregard Policy and the Discretionary Housing Payment Policy are there to encourage extra money back into the pockets of the residents who need the money the most. The cost of living crisis hasn’t gone away and many people are still really struggling. These extra funds could be the difference to them experiencing financial hardship or not so we’re more than happy that these recommendations will now go on to the Council for final approval later in the month.”  

For support with the cost of living and many other issues, go to:

To find out more information on the report discussed at Hub, go to:

The meeting can be viewed in full on our YouTube channel 

Related news