NEATH Port Talbot residents are being asked for their views in preparation for major changes to the council tax benefits system.
The Westminster Government is devolving responsibility for council tax benefit from the Department of Work & Pensions to the Welsh Government and local authorities.
The Welsh Government has drawn up a scheme for councils across Wales to adopt, with number of factors to be determined at a local level.
However as a result of a reduction in the funding being provided councils must also make savings of around 10 per cent on previous years.
The changes mean that there will no longer be full council tax benefit awards in the future, and residents will have to fund any difference from their own pockets. The new system requires all councils to develop a council tax support scheme to be implemented from the beginning of the new financial year in April 2013.
As part of this process Neath Port Talbot Council is consulting on those elements which can be decided upon locally.
The issues addressed in the consultation include the back-dating of claims and the effect of war pensions on the level of claims.
Council leader Ali Thomas said: "I would urge benefits recipients, and the many groups that work to support them, to take part in this consultation."
The document is available from One Stop Shops in Neath, Pontardawe and Port Talbot, or http://neath-porttalbot-consult. limehouse.co.uk/public/ fcs/council_tax/council_tax