Please note that if your landlord is not a registered provider of social housing, or you are being charged rent at a commercial market rent rate, this does not apply to you. Your Housing Benefit will be calculated the same as tenants with a private landlord.
We will normally calculate Housing Benefit entitlement based on the rent that you are being charged by the Housing Association. However, if you are of working age and you are under occupying your property, meaning that you have a spare bedroom, then an amount is deducted from the rent that can be used in the calculation as follows:
14% if you under-occupy by one bedroom
25% if you under-occupy by two or more bedrooms
Depending on your household composition, you will have a bedroom requirement. This is the amount of bedrooms you need as specified by the Housing Benefit Regulations.
The bedroom requirements are as follows:
• One room for each:
• Adult couple
• Two children under 16 years of the same sex
• Two children under 10 years regardless of sex
• Single person over 16 years
• A child that would normally share but is either an only child or shared bedrooms are already taken, for example you have three children
• Children that cannot share because they have a disability or medical condition which prevents them from sharing with another child. You will need to provide medical evidence for this
• A non-resident overnight carer for you or your partner, but only if they sleep there overnight. You will need to provide medical evidence that overnight care is required and that overnight care is provided on a regular basis
• An approved foster carer who is either between placements or is waiting for their first placement (but only for a maximum 52 week period)
Rooms used by members of the armed or reserve forces or by students will not be counted as spare as long as they intend to return home, unless they have secured permanent accommodation/ rented accommodation elsewhere.
Housing Benefit payments are normally paid by BACS to the claimant. These payments are made every 2 weeks in arrears.
If you want us to pay your Housing Benefit directly to your Housing Association, please let us know in writing. These payments are made every 4 weeks in arrears.
It should be noted that the Government is changing Housing Benefit for social sector tenants from April 2018. If your tenancy began after 1 April 2016 and you claim Housing Benefit after 1 April 2018, your Housing Benefit could be restricted if your rent is higher than the Local Housing Allowance rate which is used for calculating Housing Benefit for private sector tenants. The Government is considering whether tenants in supported accommodation will be affected by this change.