BEXLEY Council has sent more than 11,000 letters to residents affected by benefit changes this April.

Three key areas will change in the biggest shake-up to the system in more than 60 years: council tax; under occupation and the benefit cap.

From April government-run council tax benefit will be replaced by a locally administered council tax reduction scheme meaning working age claimants will eventually pay at least 15 per cent of their council tax.

Those living in a social rented property with one or more unoccupied bedroom may have their housing benefit reduced which will affect current claimants aged 16 to 61.

A benefit cap is being rolled out in 2013 which will limit the total amount a claimant receives from a range of allowances.

Bexley Council has sent 10,212 letters to those affected by council tax changes and 1,200 letters to claimants affected by the new under occupancy rule.

All 418 residents in the borough likely to be hit by benefit cap changes have also been notified.

Bexley Council deputy leader, Councillor Colin Campbell, said; "These changes have been designed to create a fairer system for all."

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