Changes to Housing Benefit from April 2013

From 1 April 2013, there will a change to the way Housing benefit is calculated for working age customers living in the social rented sector which includes Council tenants and tenants of registered social Landlords such as Housing Associations

The changes mean that you may lose benefit if the property you live in has more bedrooms than you need. Your bedroom requirement is calculated according to the number of householders in your property and is based on the following criteria.

One bedroom is allowed for

  • An adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • Any other adult aged 16 or over
  • Any two children of the same gender aged under 16
  • Any two children aged under 10
  • Any other child, (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • A carer who provides you or your partner with overnight care (providing you have a spare bedroom for this purpose).

If you are in occupation of a property with more bedrooms than you need your benefit will be reduced according to the following formula

  • 14% for one spare bedroom and
  • 25% for two or more spare bedrooms.

If you have an extra bedroom because of disability adaptations or for a foster child you will still be subject to the restriction though you should contact the council to see if you can receive some assistance in these cases.

There are some exceptions to the changes summarised below:

  • If you are of pensionable age
  • Supported or temporary accommodation
  • Shared ownership.

How will I know if the changes affect me?

The council will be writing to those who are potentially affected by the new rules so that you may prepare for the change and consider your options. Your landlord may also contact you.

You should notify the council straight away if anyone has moved in or moved out of your property.

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