How My Benefit Is Worked Out
Housing Benefit is 'means tested', this means we need to know how much money you have coming into your household. To work out your entitlement to Housing Benefit, we compare your weekly income and your 'needs figure' which includes an amount for you and your partner, with additions for dependent children or being of Pension Credit age. It may include extra amounts if you are sick or disabled, or a carer.
We may also consider your savings, other benefits and pensions you may receive. Some income such as disability living allowance is disregarded. If you have 'non-dependents' living with you, such as grown-up children or elderly relatives this may reduce the benefit you receive.
Our Benefits Calculator can give you an estimate of the benefit you may be entitled to.
What Housing Benefit covers;
Housing Association tenants
If you are a Housing Association tenant, then Housing Benefit only covers your basic rent. This is called your 'eligible rent'. Charges for some services are taken off your rent before we work out your Housing Benefit, for example:
- Water Charges
- Fuel Charges
The amount taken off is either the amount you pay or, if this is not known, a fixed amount set by the government.
There is a limit on the number of bedrooms Housing Benefit will pay for, if you're renting from:
- a registered housing association
- or other registered social landlord
The limit does not apply to tenants who have reached the age at which to claim Pension Credit and the same rules already apply to most private tenants.
The size of accommodation you can receive Housing Benefit for is based on the number of people living with you in your home. One bedroom is allowed for each of the following category:
- every adult couple (married or unmarried)
- any other adult aged 16 or over (this includes non-dependents who are currently on active service in the Armed Forces)
- any two children of the same sex, aged under 16
- any two children aged under 10 of the same or opposite sex
- any other child, (other than a child whose main home is elsewhere)
- a carer (or team of carers) who do not live with you but provide you or your partner with overnight care.
If you have one or more extra bedroom your Housing Benefit may reduce by:
- 14% if you have one extra bedroom
- 25% if you have two or more extra bedrooms
If you are a private tenant, your benefit entitlement will be calculated using a rent figure provided by the Rent Service which may be lower than the actual rent you pay.
This is known as Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and relates to the number of bedrooms your family requires. You can view the current rates below.