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Vulnerable housing benefit claimants who might need extra support are set to be helped by an additional £165 million of funding being made available to councils.

According to the Government, this builds on the £180 million funding this year and ensures continuing financial support.

Councils also have until 3 February 2014 to bid for top-up funds if they need to provide extra support this year.

The Discretionary Housing Payment allocations for councils in 2014/15 set out how much local authorities will receive to provide extra help for claimants as they move through the Government’s welfare reforms.

Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey said: "This funding will ensure we can support vulnerable claimants and help them make the transition.

"Capping benefits is returning fairness to the welfare system and reform of the spare room subsidy is absolutely necessary to make a better use of our social housing when over 300,000 are living in overcrowded homes in Britain and around 1.7 million are on social housing waiting lists in England alone.

"We are ensuring all working age tenants are treated equally – as claimants receiving housing benefit in the private sector already receive support for the number of bedrooms they need and not for spare rooms."

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