Bedroom Tax & Benefit Cap

BEDROOM TAX

What you need to know…

If you have more bedrooms than the UK Government says you need, your housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs will be reduced. When assessing your claim, you will be allowed one bedroom for:

  • Each adult couple.
  • Any other person aged 16 or over.
  • 2 children of the same sex under the age of 16.
  • 2 children under the age of 10 regardless of their sex.
  • Any other children.
  • A carer (who doesn’t normally live with you) if you or your partner need overnight carers.
  • If you have a disability and need a spare room so that a carer can stay overnight, advise your Housing Benefit department so that your housing benefit claim can be updated.

You won’t be affected if you or your partner are old enough to receive pension credits.

If you have one ‘spare’ bedroom your housing benefit will be cut by 14% of your full weekly entitlement. If you have 2 or more spare bedrooms you will lose 25% of your housing benefit/housing costs.

If your benefit is reduced, your rent will still be the same and you will therefore be expected to pay the difference between your housing benefit/housing costs and your rent.

BENEFIT CAP

What you need to know…

There is a limit on the total amount of benefits that the people in your household can get from a range of benefits including:

  • Housing benefit.
  • Jobseekers allowance.
  • Employment support allowance (unless you get the support component).
  • Child benefit.
  • Child tax credit.
  • Carer’s allowance.
  • Universal Credit.

If the total comes to more than the maximum amount allowed your housing benefit/housing costs payments will be reduced.
The maximum amount of benefit you are able to receive is:

  • £384.62 per week for single parents and couples with or without children.
  • £257.69 per week for single people without children.

It won’t apply to you if you get pension credit or working tax credit or a member of your household is claiming disability living allowance, attendance allowance or the support element of employment support allowance.
If you’re worried about being able to afford to pay your rent, talk to us about different ways to pay and for help and advice.

HELP & ADVICE

If your’re affected by either the ‘bedroom’ tax or benefit cap and you’re worried about being able to afford to pay your rent, talk to us about different ways to pay and for help and advice. You can:

  • Talk to us about transferring to a smaller home – we can offer advice and £500 to help you with the cost of moving.
  • Get advice from our Money Solutions Team who may be able to help you to apply for a discretionary housing payment and provide advice on applying for other benefits.
  • Consider taking in a lodger.
  • Try to find some paid work to increase your income.

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