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Benefits - What Is Housing Benefit And Who Can Claim?

Housing Benefit is a welfare benefit for people on a low income to help them pay their rent.

Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit.  To work out how much benefit you are entitled to we consider your household, the amount of income you receive and any savings that you or you partner have.

Who can claim Housing Benefit?

To apply for Housing Benefit you must:

  • be liable to pay rent for your property
  • be living in the property as your main home
  • have less than £16,000 in savings.

Local Housing Allowance

If you are renting from a private landlord we will determine the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that you are entitled to based on Local Housing Allowance figures provided by the Rent Service.  We look at the number of rooms that your household legally requires against the amount of rent that the Local Housing Allowance permits.  Your Housing Benefit will be based on this amount.

One room is allowed for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried),
  • any other adult aged 16 or over,
  • up to two children under age 10 of either sex,
  • up to two children of the same sex aged under 16.

You may not get the standard rate of Local Housing Allowance if you share some or all of the facilities in a property. Shared facilities could be a living room, kitchen or bathroom. The shared accommodation rate of LHA may apply where:

  • you are under 35 years of age and live alone, unless you would qualify for a severe disability premium.
  • you are under 35 years of age and live alone, unless you were previously in care on your 16th birthday and are aged under 22,
  • you have a bedroom of your own but share all or some of the facilities, such as a kitchen, bathroom etc. This also applies if you live in shared accommodation with your partner and do not have children

Current Local Housing Allowance Rates

  • Shared Accommodation - £63.50
  • 1 bedroom -  £128.19
  • 2 bedrooms - £161.26
  • 3 bedrooms - £188.33
  • 4 bedrooms - £266.65

Please note, if your rent is higher than the amount of Local Housing Allowance you are entitled to you will need to pay the difference yourself.

Non Dependants

A non-dependant deduction means that your housing benefit is reduced if an adult who could contribute to your rent lives with you.  This applies even if you don't receive rent from the non- dependant person.  A non-dependant can be a parent, adult son or daughter, relative or friend who lives in your home.

Examples include a grown-up child who returns after studying, a relationship breakdown, or someone who has just finished serving in the forces.

No deductions for non-dependants are made if the customer or partner is:

  • blind or treated as blind
  • getting Attendance Allowance or the care component of Disability Living Allowance for themselves
  • getting the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • getting the Armed Forces Independence Payment

The following deductions are made where the non-dependant is:

In receipt of Pension CreditNil
In receipt of training allowance, full-time student (including students not working in summer vacation) co-owners or joint tenants, patients (for more than 52 weeks) or prisonersNil
Aged less than 25 and on IS or income-based JSA or assessment phase rate income-related ESANil
Aged under 25, entitled to UC and have no earned incomeNil
Normally living elsewhereNil
A non-dependant in respect of who a deduction has already been applied in Housing BenefitNil
Aged 25 and over and on IS or income-based JSA£14.65
Any age and in receipt of income-related ESA at main phase rate£14.65
Aged 18 or over and not in remunerative work£14.65

Aged 18 or over, in paid work and with a gross weekly income (before tax and National Insurance are taken off) of the following:

Less than £133£14.65
Not less than £133 but less than £194.99£33.65
Not less than £195 but less than £252.99£46.20
Not less than £253 but less than £337.99£75.60
Not less than £338 but less than £419.99£86.10
Not less than £420£94.50

Further information

If you require further assistance, or would like to discuss your financial situation you can get independent advice from the following organisations: - Information on public service in one place including up to date information on Housing Benefit.

Citizens Advice - The Citizens Advice Bureau provides a wide range of advice.

The Money Advice Service - Offers a range of money information including budgeting and debt management advice.

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